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Hunayn ibn Ishaq and the Kitab Adab al-falasifah: The Pursuit of Wisdom and a Humane Polity in Early Abbasid Baghdad


With a focus on the Kitāb Ādāb al-falāsifah, a book of aphorisms attributed to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, some of the important aspects of the Kitāb are laid out, particularly those dealing with religion and the pursuit of philosophy. Although putatively, translators and scholars such as Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, opened the way for philosophical dialogue between Muslims and Christians of Orthodox churches on precepts, often based on Aristotle, which they could agree would lead to wisdom and a humane society.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-043-3
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Publication Status: In Print

Series: Analecta Gorgiana 122
Publication Date: Sep 4,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 30
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-043-3
$36.00
$21.60
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Recounting what is known of Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s background, this article suggests that he was among the first Christians whose Arabic writings were taken seriously among Muslim scholars. Many of his own ideas, however, have been overlooked in the scholarship on him. With a focus on the Kitāb Ādāb al-falāsifah, a book of aphorisms attributed to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, some of the important aspects of the Kitāb are laid out, particularly those dealing with religion and the pursuit of philosophy. In the Baghdad of the generation following Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq such works as his were considered the grounds for the humaneness demanded by philosophy of the period. Although putatively translators, scholars such as Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq opened the way for philosophical dialogue between Muslims and Christians of Orthodox churches on precepts, often based on Aristotle, they could agree would lead to wisdom and a humane society.

Sidney H. Griffith earned his B.A. at Holy Trinity Mission Seminary, his Master’s, Licentiate, and Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America, where he has been on the faculty since 1977. Widely published, Fr. Griffith is a well-known figure in Syriac scholarship.

Recounting what is known of Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s background, this article suggests that he was among the first Christians whose Arabic writings were taken seriously among Muslim scholars. Many of his own ideas, however, have been overlooked in the scholarship on him. With a focus on the Kitāb Ādāb al-falāsifah, a book of aphorisms attributed to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, some of the important aspects of the Kitāb are laid out, particularly those dealing with religion and the pursuit of philosophy. In the Baghdad of the generation following Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq such works as his were considered the grounds for the humaneness demanded by philosophy of the period. Although putatively translators, scholars such as Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq opened the way for philosophical dialogue between Muslims and Christians of Orthodox churches on precepts, often based on Aristotle, they could agree would lead to wisdom and a humane society.

Sidney H. Griffith earned his B.A. at Holy Trinity Mission Seminary, his Master’s, Licentiate, and Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America, where he has been on the faculty since 1977. Widely published, Fr. Griffith is a well-known figure in Syriac scholarship.

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Sidney Griffith

  • ?unayn Ibn Ishaq and the Kitab Adab al-Falasifah: The Pursuit of Wisdom and a Humane Polity in Early Abbasid Baghdad. By Sidney H. Griffith (page 5)
    • I (page 5)
    • II (page 7)
    • III (page 15)
      • A. Jews, Christians and Muslims in the History of Philosophy (page 18)
      • B. The Aphorisms of the Philosophers (page 22)
    • IV (page 23)
    • V (page 24)
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