Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

Ash‘arism Encounters Avicennism


Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation


This study of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī’s (d. 631/1233) teachings on creation offers close analysis of all of his extant works of falsafa and kalām. Some of these were not known to previous scholars, yet they bear witness to key facets of the interaction between the historically inimical traditions of Hellenic philosophy and rational theology at this important intellectual moment. Al-Āmidī is seen to grapple with the encounter of two paradigms for the discussion of creation. On the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s metaphysical concept of necessity of existence is the basis of his doctrine of the world’s pre-eternal emanation. On the other, for the mutakallimūn, the physical theory of atomism bolsters the view that God created the world from nothing. This study is of interest to scholars of Ibn Sīnā and Ash‘arism alike, as it advances our understanding of the ongoing tradition of rational theology in the Islamic world, long past Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī’s (d. 505/1111) famous attack on the philosophers.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0719-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jul 28,2020
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 329
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0719-9
$114.95
$91.96
x =
This study of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī’s (d631/1233) teachings on creation offers close analysis of all of his extant works of falsafa and kalām. Some of these were not known to previous scholars, yet they bear witness to key facets of the interaction between the historically inimical traditions of Hellenic philosophy and rational theology at this important intellectual moment. Al-Āmidī is seen to grapple with the encounter of two paradigms for the discussion of creation. On the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s metaphysical concept of necessity of existence is the basis of his doctrine of the world’s pre-eternal emanation. On the other, for the mutakallimūn, the physical theory of atomism bolsters the view that God created the world from nothing.

Though he begins with a posture of acceptance towards both the doctrines and methods of Ibn Sīnā, al-Āmidī gradually evolves to a position of hostility towards the entire philosophical tradition. Nevertheless, deep tensions are present in his thought; on the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s notion of the sheer necessity of God’s existence is so compelling theologically that it becomes the mainstay of al-Āmidī’s understanding of the God-world relationship. Yet some of its more problematic implications are targets for al-Āmidī’s fierce opposition by the time of his mature works of kalām. Underlying all this is the often unstated, but all pervasive, influence of al-Āmidī’s highly successful peer, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210).

This study is of interest to scholars of Ibn Sīnā and Ash‘arism alike, as it advances our understanding of the ongoing tradition of rational theology in the Islamic world, long past Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī’s (d. 505/1111) famous attack on the philosophers.
  
"In a superb work of intellectual biography, Laura Hassan takes us on a fascinating journey through al-Āmidī’s unique and ever evolving appropriation of Avicennan ideas into an Ash‘ari theology of creation. This is an immensely important contribution to our understanding of how Ash‘ari theology in the 12th and 13th centuries navigated the treacherous path from its classical expression through the challenges posed by the philosophy of Ibn Sīnā.''
Jon Hoover, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Nottingham
 
''Laura Hassan's Ashʿarism Encounters Avicenna: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation is the first extended study of the post-Avicennan philosopher and theologian Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī. The work truly fills a lacuna in the literature, and does so in a clear and philosophically engaging way. The issue of the world's age, which is at the core of Hassan's work, was unquestionably one of the most hotly debated topic in the medieval Islamic intellectual world. Hassan not only contextualizes that debate in order to explain al-Āmidī's own evolving position and then complete turn-around, but also integrates discussions of possibility, necessity, atomism and even the nature of post-Avicennan physics into her narrative. This is a wonderful book, which I strongly recommend for anyone interested in Islamic philosophy and theology at the end of the classical period.'' 
Jon McGinnis, Professor of Classical and medieval Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis
This study of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī’s (d631/1233) teachings on creation offers close analysis of all of his extant works of falsafa and kalām. Some of these were not known to previous scholars, yet they bear witness to key facets of the interaction between the historically inimical traditions of Hellenic philosophy and rational theology at this important intellectual moment. Al-Āmidī is seen to grapple with the encounter of two paradigms for the discussion of creation. On the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s metaphysical concept of necessity of existence is the basis of his doctrine of the world’s pre-eternal emanation. On the other, for the mutakallimūn, the physical theory of atomism bolsters the view that God created the world from nothing.

Though he begins with a posture of acceptance towards both the doctrines and methods of Ibn Sīnā, al-Āmidī gradually evolves to a position of hostility towards the entire philosophical tradition. Nevertheless, deep tensions are present in his thought; on the one hand, Ibn Sīnā’s notion of the sheer necessity of God’s existence is so compelling theologically that it becomes the mainstay of al-Āmidī’s understanding of the God-world relationship. Yet some of its more problematic implications are targets for al-Āmidī’s fierce opposition by the time of his mature works of kalām. Underlying all this is the often unstated, but all pervasive, influence of al-Āmidī’s highly successful peer, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210).

This study is of interest to scholars of Ibn Sīnā and Ash‘arism alike, as it advances our understanding of the ongoing tradition of rational theology in the Islamic world, long past Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī’s (d. 505/1111) famous attack on the philosophers.
  
"In a superb work of intellectual biography, Laura Hassan takes us on a fascinating journey through al-Āmidī’s unique and ever evolving appropriation of Avicennan ideas into an Ash‘ari theology of creation. This is an immensely important contribution to our understanding of how Ash‘ari theology in the 12th and 13th centuries navigated the treacherous path from its classical expression through the challenges posed by the philosophy of Ibn Sīnā.''
Jon Hoover, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Nottingham
 
''Laura Hassan's Ashʿarism Encounters Avicenna: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation is the first extended study of the post-Avicennan philosopher and theologian Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī. The work truly fills a lacuna in the literature, and does so in a clear and philosophically engaging way. The issue of the world's age, which is at the core of Hassan's work, was unquestionably one of the most hotly debated topic in the medieval Islamic intellectual world. Hassan not only contextualizes that debate in order to explain al-Āmidī's own evolving position and then complete turn-around, but also integrates discussions of possibility, necessity, atomism and even the nature of post-Avicennan physics into her narrative. This is a wonderful book, which I strongly recommend for anyone interested in Islamic philosophy and theology at the end of the classical period.'' 
Jon McGinnis, Professor of Classical and medieval Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis
Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Laura Hassan

Laura Hassan studied Arabic and Islamic Studies with Syriac at Pembroke College, Oxford and in Fes and Alexandria, before completing her postgraduate studies at SOAS.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Calling Out to Isis

The Enduring Nubian Presence at Philae
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0715-1
The expansion of the cult of the goddess Isis throughout the Mediterranean world demonstrates the widespread appeal of Egyptian religion in the Greco-Roman period. In this monograph, Ashby focuses on an oft-neglected population in studies of this phenomenon: Nubian worshipers. Through examination of prayer inscriptions and legal agreements engraved on temple walls, as well as Ptolemaic royal decrees and temple imagery, Ashby sheds new light on the involvement of Nubians in the Egyptian temples of Lower Nubia, and further draws comparisons between Nubian cultic practices and the Meroitic royal funerary cult.
$66.50

Endless Inspiration

One Thousand and One Nights in Comparative Perspective
Edited by Orhan Elmaz
Series: Gorgias Handbooks 47
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0720-5
This volume deals with One Thousand and One Nights in yet another and novel way as it brings old and new together by exploring parallels and possible origins of its tales, as well as the wealth of modern and contemporary material that it has originated and continues to inspire. The papers included in this volume address the theory and practice of the adaptation and appropriation of One Thousand and One Nights into any type of literary text and media, while approaching a definition of our contemporary knowledge and understanding of the Nights. Through this, it will be possible to underline the dynamic nature and autonomous life that the tale collection acquired and how it originated works like Jorge Luis Borges’s essays, Naguib Mahfouz’s works, Miguel Gomes’s trilogy, a Turkish soap opera that became popular around the world and made it to Netflix, or Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s well-known symphonic suite.
$80.46

Through the Prism of Wisdom

Elijah the Prophet as a Bearer of Wisdom in Rabbinic Literature
Series: Judaism in Context 23
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0742-7
This monograph explores the nature of the Elijah traditions in rabbinic literature and their connection to the wisdom tradition. By examining the diverse Elijah traditions in connection to the wisdom and apocalyptic traditions, Alouf-Aboody sheds new light on the manner in which Elijah’s role developed in rabbinic literature.
$124.60

Chinese Heirs to Muhammad

Writing Islamic History in Early Modern China
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3925-1
How was the past imagined by Hui Muslims in late nineteenth and early twentieth century China? Chen argues that this was a productive time for historical thought, bookended by the establishment of a robust Sino-Islamic knowledge base by Liu Zhi on one end and Republican China on the other end. This book explores histories that unify vast stretches of time and place: from genesis to the modern era, from Arabia to China. Hui historians create narratives that transform China into an Islamic space and Islam into a Chinese religion.
$80.46