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Les générations des Soufis

Ṭabaqāt al-ṣūfiyya de Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān, Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn al-Sulamī (325/937-412/1021)

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Edited by Jean-Jacques Thibon

In this book Generations of Sufis, Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (died 1021), the Sufi master of Nishapur and Shafi‘i traditionist and historian, collected the teachings of 105 Sufi masters who lived between the 2nd/8th and the 4th/10th centuries. Sulami gives a short biography of each master with representative quotations from his teachings. He thereby illustrates the numerous approaches to the spiritual path and the unity of its principles. One of the oldest works of the sort, it assembles the doctrinal foundations from which medieval Sufism developed. It is a key reference which influenced all Sufi literature and even historiography. This is the first translation of a work of this type to be published in a European language.

Dans Les générations des Soufis Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (m. 1021), maître soufi de Nishapur, traditionniste šāfi‘ite et historien, collecte l’enseignement de cent cinq maîtres soufis qui vécurent entre le 2e/8e et le 4e/10e siècles. Pour chacun d’eux, Sulamī propose une courte notice biographique et un ensemble de citations représentatives de son enseignement. Il rend ainsi compte de la diversité des approches de la voie spirituelle et de l’unité de ses principes. Cet ouvrage, l’un des plus anciens de ce type, rassemble le socle doctrinal sur lequel s’élabora le soufisme médiéval. Référence incontournable, il eut une influence considérable sur toute la littérature du soufisme et même l’historiographie. Cette traduction est la première en langue européenne d’un ouvrage de ce type.
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Philosophie des Geistes im Spätmittelalter

Intellekt, Materie und Intentionalität bei Johannes Buridan

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Martin Klein

Is the human intellect material? Or can we show by appeal to its intentional operations, such as universal cognition and self-knowledge, that it is immaterial? Is there therefore a connection between intentionality and immateriality?
In Philosophie des Geistes im Spätmittelalter, Martin Klein offers a comprehensive account of John Buridan’s philosophy of mind considered in relation to his epistemology, metaphysics and natural philosophy. In light of material that has only recently been edited, Buridan is presented in the context of the late medieval debate about the nature of the human intellect and how this influences its cognitive functioning.
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Maimonides, On the Elucidation of Some Symptoms and the Response to them (formerly known as On the Causes of Symptoms)

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation, with Critical Editions of the Medieval Hebrew Translations

Gerrit Bos

The present consilium, commonly known as De causis accidentium, after the Latin translation by John de Capua, was, like the earlier consilium On the Regimen of Health, composed by Maimonides at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son. As a result of not adopting the lifestyle and dietary recommendations in On the Regimen of Health, al-Afḍal may have continued to suffer from a number of afflictions, amongst them hemorrhoids, depression, constipation, and, possibly, a heart condition. The consilium was written after 1200, the year in which al-Afḍal was deposed and banished from Egypt permanently, but probably not long before 1204, the year in which Maimonides died.
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Edited by F. Tyler Sergent

A Companion to William of Saint-Thierry provides eight new studies on this noted twelfth-century Cistercian writer by some of the most prolific English-language William scholars from North America and Europe and is structured around William’s life, thought, and influence. A Benedictine abbot who became a Cistercian monk, William of Saint-Thierry (c. 1085-1148) lived through the first half of the twelfth century, a time of significant reform within western Christian monasticism. Although William was directly involved in these reforming efforts while at the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Thierry, his lasting legacy in Christian tradition comes through his written works, many as a Cistercian monk, that showcase his keen intellect, creative thinking, and at times profound insight for spiritual life and its fulfilment. Contributors include: David N. Bell, Thomas X. Davis, E. Rozanne Elder, Brian Patrick McGuire, Glenn E. Myers, Nathaniel Peters, Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, and F. Tyler Sergent
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Edited by Cristiano Casalini

Jesuit Philosophy on the Eve of Modernity, edited by Cristiano Casalini, is the first comprehensive volume to trace the origins and development of Jesuit philosophy during the first century of the Society of Jesus (1540–c.1640). Filling a gap in the history of philosophy, the volume seeks to identify and examine the limits of the “distinctiveness” of Jesuit philosophers during an age of dramatic turbulence in Western thought. The eighteen contributions by some of the leading specialists in various fields are divided into four sections, which guide the reader through cultural milieus, thematic issues, and intellectual biographies to show the impact of Jesuit philosophy on early modern thought.
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Maimonides On the Regimen of Health

A New Parallel Arabic-English Translation

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Gerrit Bos

Maimonides’ On the Regimen of Health was composed at an unknown date at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son who complained of constipation, indigestion, and depression. The treatise must have enjoyed great popularity in Jewish circles, as it was translated three times into Hebrew as far as we know; by Moses ben Samuel ibn Tibbon in the year 1244, by an anonymous translator, and by Zeraḥyah ben Isaac ben She’altiel Ḥen who was active as a translator in Rome between 1277 and 1291. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, the medieval Hebrew translations and the Latin translations, the latter edited by Michael McVaugh.
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Plato’s Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest

Finding the Harmony of the Spheres

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Donna M. Altimari Adler

In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos in Plato's text, mathematically, regarding it as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the text, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of interpretation, e.g., properly naming the sets of three and four bands, born of splitting the band of difference, and explaining their differing motions and speeds.
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Robert Grosseteste and the 13th-Century Diocese of Lincoln

An English Bishop’s Pastoral Vision

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Philippa Hoskin

In this book Philippa Hoskin offers an account of the pastoral theory and practice of Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253, within his diocese. Grosseteste has been considered as an eminent medieval philosopher and theologian, and as a bishop focused on pastoral care, but there has been no attempt to consider how his scholarship influenced his pastoral practice.
Making use of Grosseteste’s own writings – philosophical and theological as well as pastoral and administrative – Hoskin demonstrates how Grosseteste’s famous interventions in his diocese grew from his own theory of personal obligation in pastoral care as well as how his personal involvement in his diocese could threaten well-developed clerical and lay networks.

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Petr Pavlas

In the writings of John Chrysostom and especially Augustine we find appreciation of nature as a “layman’s Bible,” but it is not until the fifteenth century that this idea becomes widespread. Raymond of Sabunde (c. 1385–1436) was the first thinker to emphasize not only the obvious chronological priority and availability of the book of nature, but also its interpretative clarity in comparison with the book of Scripture. Raymond’s direct influence on Nicholas of Cusa and their conjoint influence on Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670), the “teacher of nations” and early modern educational and religious reformer, is evident. Less familiar, however, is Comenius’ triadization of the traditional book metaphor. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the two traditional dyads “book of nature–book of Scripture” and “book of the mind–human books” transform into the metaphorical book triad “nature–mind–Scripture.” Such a transformation is slightly suggested already in Augustine and Hugh of St Victor, diffidently expressed in Bonaventure and Cusanus, explicitly postulated in sixteenth-century Lutheran mysticism, and finally impressively developed in Comenius’ universal method of pansophia. Yet while diffident, Cusanus’ development of this theme is nonetheless important. Drawing on the Anselmic, Lullist and “Sabundian” tradition of natural theology, Cusanus as nomenclator Dei seeks God in the maximal Unity that is the same (or “not-other”) with his Triunity. Cusanus’ employment of the book metaphor for both nature and mind prepares the way for Comenius, whose project of universal reform, in the words of Jan Patočka, “suddenly breaks out with a volcanic power from its Cusan germs.” The hypothesis of this chapter is that Comenius’ universal reform included – not as an epiphenomenon but as a conscious and productive intention – the triadic reform of the traditional book metaphor, inspired by Cusan ideas.

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Edited by Simon J.G. Burton, Joshua Hollmann and Eric M. Parker