Islamic Philosophical Theology:studies In Muslim Doctrine & Heresiology
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- Course Withdrawn
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As the primary expression of Islamic philosophical theology, 'ilm al-kalam (scholastic theology) is indispensable for any deeper understanding of Islamic dogma. As such this course charts the historical development of this discipline from its primordial beginnings in the post-prophetic era to the formation of genuine schools of theology in the medieval period. Similarly, the various doctrinal views that resulted from this development are also examined through the genre of the heresiographical literature that deals specifically with this subject area. Topics covered will include arguments for the existence of God and divine unity; competing views of the divine nature; creation; and the general history of conflicts in Islamic philosophical theology. Student are acquainted with the classical works that represent Islamic philosophical theology, with special reference to the evolution of the Ash'arite trend within this tradition, as the primary manifestation of Sunnite kalam. In addition, a major feature of the course will be the debate surrounding theology's compatibility with philosophy within the Islamic paradigm, where the intrinsic nature and relationship between these two subject areas will be examined.
This course shares teaching hours with the BA course in Islamic philosophical theology: studies in Muslim doctrine and heresiography.
Knowledge of written Arabic equivalent to the third year, preferably the fourth, of BA Arabic.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of the course the student should be familiar with the salient features of the philosophical and theological tradition within Islam. This will include knowledge of the historical background of the tradition and the foremost personalities who played a major role in its development. Similarly, the student will become acquainted with the primary concepts promoted in Islamic philosophical theology and their manifestation in various doctrinal standpoints, as well as the classical works that present the theories and teachings of the scholastic trend. The relevant issues will be approached through a close reading of passages from classical texts and these readings will form the basis for conceptual analysis and intensive discussion.
WorkloadThis course shares teaching hours with the BA course in Islamic philosophical theology: studies in Muslim doctrine and heresiography. Two hours of teaching are shared with BA students and there is one additional hour of Masters-tailored tuition per week.
Method of assessmentAssessment is by one three-hour written examination in May-June (70% of the final mark), and by two essays of 3000-3500 words each (15% each), to be submitted on the first day of Term 2 and the first day of Term 3 respectively.
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- - Maqalat al-Islamiyyin (2 vols., Beirut, al-Maktabat ‘l-Asriyya, 1999).
- Al-Baqillani, M., al-Tamhid (Cairo, Matba‘at ‘l-Janna, 1947).
- Al-Baghdadi, A. T. M., al-Farq bayn al-Firaq (Beirut, Dar al-Marifa, 2001).
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- Al-Isfarayini, al-Tabsir fi `l-Dïn (Cairo, Matba’at al-Anwar, 1940).
- Al-Juwayni, Abd al-Malik b. Abd Allah, al-Kafiya fi `l-Jadal, edited by Khalil al-Mansur (Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyah, 1999).
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- - Kitab al-Irshad, edited by Muhammad Yusuf Musa and Ali Abd al-Munim Abd al-Hamid (Cairo, Maktabat al-Khanji, 1950).
- Al-Razi, M., Kitab al-Arba’in fi Usul al-Din (Hyderabad, Da’irat ‘l-Ma‘arif, 1353 AH). Ibn Rushd, Tahafut al-Tahafut (Markaz Dirasat al-Wahda al-Arabiyya, 1998).
- - Fasl al-Maqal fi ma bayn al-Hikma wa `l-Sharïa min al-Ittisal, edited by Abd al-Karim al-Marraq (Tunis, al-Manshurat li `l-Intaj wa `l-Tawzi’, 1991).
- - al-Kashf an Manahij al-Adilla fï Aqa'id al-Milla, edited by Muhammad Abid al-Jabiri (Beirut, Markaz Dirasat al-Wahda al-Arabiyya, 1998).
- Al-Shahrastani, M. A., al-Milal wa ‘l-Nihal (Beirut, al-Maktaba al-Asriyya, 2002).