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Organizing Knowledge

Encyclopædic Activities in the Pre-Eighteenth Century Islamic World

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Edited by Gerhard Endress

The contributions in this volume offer the first comprehensive effort to describe and analyse the collection, classification, presentation and methodology of information in the knowledge society of medieval Islam in the disciplines of religious and legal learning, as well as the rational sciences of Hellenistic origin – philosophy, mathematical and medical sciences.The volume begins with a general discussion of the concept of encyclopædia. Successive chapters explore the bases of authority in the institutions of religion and law; biographical literature and handbooks of law; compendia of scientific and philosophical learning based on Iranian and Greek sources; and the more specialised expositions of mathematics and philosophy. The special character of Muslim institutions, their teaching traditions and syllabi is also put into perspective. This is a reference work for the principal genres of ‘enyclopædic’ outlines and manuals – biography, legal handbooks, historiography of knowledge transmission, cosmography, and the philosophical sciences – and a major contribution to the literary and intellectual history.

The Qurʾān in Context

Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qurʾānic Milieu

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Edited by Angelika Neuwirth, Nicolai Sinai and Michael Marx

Although recent scholarship has increasingly situated the Qur'ān in the historical context of Late Antiquity, such a perspective is only rarely accompanied by the kind of microstructural literary analysis routinely applied to the Bible. The present volume seeks to redress this lack of contact between literary and historical studies. Contributions to the first part of the volume address various general aspects of the Qur’an’s political, economic, linguistic, and cultural context, while the second part contains a number of close readings of specific Qur’ānic passages in the light of Judeo-Christian tradition and ancient Arabic poetry, as well as discussions of the Qur’ān’s internal chronology and transmission history. Throughout, special emphasis is given to methodological questions.

This title is available as paperback.

The Biography of Muḥammad

The Issue of the Sources

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Edited by Harald Motzki

This book deals with the controversial value of the sources on which the biography of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is based. Discussions on this topic have been going on for more than a century but it has become especially debated during the last two decades.
This volume contains ten articles which are the outcome of an international colloquium on the issue. Part one of the book examines the development of the Muslim tradition concerning the life of Muhammad while the other part focuses on the historical reliability of the source material.
The volume reflects not only the most recent methodological developments in the study of the life of Muhammad but also the improvement of its material-basis due to sources which have only recently become available or which have been neglected.

Ibn ḥazm's Evangelienkritik

Eine methodische Untersuchung

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Samuel-Martin Behloul

The book presents a first attempt to investigate the criticism of the Gospels, hardly considered within the previous research work of the Islamic scholar Ibn ḥazm (d. 1064) referring to its methodological and socio-cultural background.
After analysing the hardly accounted, however for the understanding of Ibn ḥazm's thought essential commentary about Aristoteles’ logic, the raised reproaches by Ibn ḥazm against the Christians are discussed. The topics include falsification of the Gospels, the irrationality of their contents and of the whole Christian religion.
In conclusion the question of the main purpose of its anti-Christian polemic arises in the light of the background of the special socio-political situation in Arabic Andalusia.
It’s a book written in a general way of understanding offering an interesting and new insight into the history of Islamic/Christian polemics.

Before and After Avicenna

Proceedings of the First Conference of the Avicenna Study Group

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Edited by David Colum Reisman

This volume contains the proceedings of the first meeting of the Avicenna Study Group. Each of the papers presents the most recent research conclusions in its respective topic.
These conclusions include new insights into Avicenna's revision of Aristotle and Plotinus, specific areas of his theories of psychology and metaphysics, his intellectual interaction with the theologians of his period, the historical and social context in which Avicenna worked, the reception of his thought among Syriac-writing authors, among later Ishraqi philosophers, and in Shi'ite peripatetic philosophy. These insights range from new interpretations of his extant corpus, to compelling theories on the factors contributing to his philosophical innovations. In many cases, these papers present hitherto unexamined textual evidence that will contribute greatly to a new methodology in Avicenna studies, and Arabic-Islamic philosophy in general.

Medieval Pharmacotherapy - Continuity and Change

Case Studies from Ibn Sīnā and Some of His Late Medieval Commentators

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Helena Paavilainen

The development of medical drug therapy in medieval times can be seen as an interplay between tradition and innovation. This book follows the changes in the therapy from the Arabic medicine of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) to Latin medical scholasticism, aiming to trace both the continuity and the development in the theory and practice of medieval drug therapy. In this delicate balance between change and continuity a crucial role was played by the scientific community through critical rejection or acceptance of new ideas. The drug choices were in most cases rational also from the point of view of contemporary medical theory. The method used in the book for studying these choices could promote the development of a novel methodology for historical ethnopharmacology.

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Edited by Wild

This book contains the updated papers of an international symposium “The Qur’an as Text” which was held at the University of Bonn in November 1993. This collection intends to break away from the 19th-century paradigm of “influences”, which seems largely exhausted but still dominates Qur’anic studies. Instead, this collection focuses on the literary, the intertextual and the receptional aspects of the Qur’anic text. A new approach to the holy book of Islam in the light of modern hermeneutics which is based on modern methods of literary history, text-linguistics, and aesthetics can open the door for a new and more adequate understanding of the Qur’an, its role for Islamic religion, and its unique place in the history of world religions today.

Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam

Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Avicenna Study Group

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Edited by Jon McGinnis

This volume provides twelve essays on various aspects of Avicenna's philosophical and scientific contributions, approaching these topics from philological, historical and philosohical methodologies. The work is conceptually divided into four sections: (1) methodology, (2) natural philosophy and the exact sciences, (3) theology and metaphysics and (4) Avicenna's heritage.
The First section provides considerations for distinguishing genuine from pseudo Avicennan works. The second section deals with topics encountered in Avicenna's physics, psychology, mathematics and medical theories. The third section treats issues ranging from the theological sources for Avicenna's proof for the existence of God and God's knowledge of particulars to the place of puzzles in Avicenna's Metaphysics as well as the relation of form and matter in Avicenna's thought. The final section considers Avicenna's historical influence on later thinkers such as al-Ghazali as well as his subsequent influence in Persia.

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Hans Daiber

Since the publication of the author´s BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY in 1999 more than 3000 new books and articles in the field of Islamic philosophy, its Greek sources and its aftermath in European philosophy appeared and illustrate the increasing interest of the Islamic and the Western world. Philosophical thought as part of the Islamic culture became a medium in the dialogue between cultures and a tool for reflexion and methodology, which are indispensable for creativity and human behaviour. This supplement covers all new publications as far as they were available and could be included in the extensive index on authors, texts, translations and commentaries, and philosophical terms and concepts.