Al-Māturīdī and the Development of Sunnī Theology in Samarqand

Series:

Al-Māturīdī (d. 944 CE), the prominent Hanafi scholar from Samarqand, succeeded in formulating a theological doctrine which is widely accepted in Sunni Islam to this day. The present volume which is a revised English translation of the German original published in 1997 examines his teachings by describing their principal characteristics and situating them in the history of kalām.
Part one investigates the development of Hanafi thought in Transoxania before Māturīdī's time. Part two deals with the other religious groups (in particular the Mu'tazilites) which emerged in this area during his lifetime. Part three shows how he explained and defended the position of his predecessors; in doing so, he reformed their traditional views, thereby developing his own theology which then became the basis of a new tradition, viz. the Māturīdite school.
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Biographical Note

Ulrich Rudolph, Dr. phil. (1987) University of Tübingen, is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Zurich. He has published widely on the history of Islamic theology and philosophy.

Rodrigo Adem is a PhD student in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago with a specialization in Islamic Thought.

Review Quotes

"Rudolph's most important contribution in this monograph - besides a compelling portrait of Māturīdī - is to draw attention to the highly localised nature of early Islamic theology and the extent to which participants in a theological tradition can re-imagine its past to serve particular ends. As such, it is of use to anyone working in the history of ideas, where questions of influence and legacy are of prime importqance - not to mention Islamicists working on the formative period."
Omar Anchassi in Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, Autumn 2015, Vol. VIII, No. 4.

"Rudolph’s work successfully presents the development of the Ḥanafite theological tradition and al-Māturīdī’s unique position within it."
Muammer İskenderoğlu in Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 4 December 2015.

Table of contents

Foreword
Introduction

PART ONE - PRELIMINARY HISTORY AND CONDITIONS: THE ḤANAFITE TRADITION IN NORTHEASTERN IRAN
1. The foundation and establishment of Ḥanafite Theology in the 2nd/8th and early 3rd/9th centuries
2. Development in the 3rd/9th Century
3. The State of Theology During al-Māturīdī’s Lifetime

PART TWO - THE EMERGENCE OF AL-MĀTURĪDĪ
1. Life and Activity
2. Theological Opponents
3. Works

PART THREE - AL-MĀTURĪDĪ’S THEOLOGY
A. Structures and their Forerunning Models
1. The Structure of the Kitāb al-Tawḥīd
2. The Bipartite Nature of the Work
3. Possible Sources
B. An Outline of Māturīdī’s Teachings
Prolegomena: Epistemology
1. The World
2. God
3. Humans

Concluding Observations
1. Māturīdī’s Position in Islamic Theology
2. The Relationship to Abū Ḥanīfa
3. The Relationship to Ashʿarī
4. The Formation of the Māturīdīya

Appendix: Inauthentic and doubtful texts
Bibliography
Index

Readership

All interested in Islamic theology, the development of the Hanafi school and Maturidi theology, and the history of religious thought.

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