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James E. Montgomery

James E. Montgomery

James E. Montgomery

Abstract

This article sets out to ponder why few contemporary scholars interested in the early history of Islamic theological and philosophical ideas have had recourse to Abbasid poetry as a source. It uses the wine poetry of Abū Nuwās (d. ca. 198/813) as a test case and inches towards the suggestion that Abū Nuwās and the Caliph al-Amīn (r. 193-198/809-813) may have been the promoters of a charismatic form of Islam informed by notions of spiritual election and sinning as virtue.