By Richard C. Martin
Drawing on texts either historic and smooth, this ebook explores rational theology in Islam, from 9th and 10th century Mu'tazilism to rationalist modernist scholarship.
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Additional info for Defenders of Reason In Islam: Mu'tazilism and Rational Theology from Medieval School to Modern Symbol
Indeed, al-Ash'ari's thought has close affinities with traditionalist Sunni Islam. The major difference is that al-Ash'ari and his followers sought to put the rational methods of kalam argumentation to the service of defending popular Sunni notions of the eternal, uncreated Qur'an, God's absolute omnipotence over His creatures, and the severe limits of human reason to understand the divine will. Al-Ash'ari wrote numerous works, according to one source some three hundred. His biographer, Ibn 'Asakir, attributes ninety-nine titles to alAsh'ari.
2. Lawrence is referring to M. ), which we will consider in more detail in the last chapter. II. Lawrence. Defenders of God, p. 83. 12. We use the term "lslamicate" in Marshall Hodgson's sense of society under lslamic rule, comprising several confessional communities that share the general culture generated by the lslamic lettered tradition. See Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, I: 57-60. 13. The standard treatment of kalam among Muslims, Christians, and Jews in early lslamicate society is Wolfson, The Philosophy of Kalam.
4 Tradition has it that once, when someone asked al-Hasan of Basra whether a grave sinner should be considered a believer or an unbeliever, al-Hasan hesitated, and Wasil ibn 'Ata' took the opportunity to assert that a grave sinner was neither, but rather in an "intermediate position" (al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn), one of the five fundamentals of Mu'tazili kalam. Wasil is The Rise and Fall of the Mu'tazila then said to have withdrawn (i'tazala) from Hasan's circle, followed by a number of Hasan's students, including 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd.