SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Laura Hassan

BA (Oxon), MA (London)
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Laura Hassan
Laura Hassan
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Thesis title:
Physical theory and Creation in the thought of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d.1233): a study of the integration of falsafī methods and doctrines into Ash’arī kalām (Working Title)
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

Research summary: There has been a widespread and growing recognition over the past decade that the post-Avicennan history of Islamic theology (kalām) and philosophy (falsafa) has been seriously misunderstood and should be the subject of much further research. Gutas (2002), in his influential paper, 'The heritage of Avicenna: the golden age of Arabic philosophy, 1000 - ca. 1350', has challenged the previously held assumption that al-Ghazali's high profile renunciation of Avicennan philosophy caused the tradition to cease to exist in the Islamic world. Not only did philosophy persist, but theology, its proponents having traditionally been in an antagonistic relationship with the philosophers, began to incorporate many philosophical methods and even doctrines.

Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d.1233) is one Ash’arī theologian whose work falls into the paradigm of this period. This thesis aims to contextualise al-Āmidī's thought in terms of its relation to Avicennan philosophy on the one hand, and classical Ash’arī theology on the other. The study is part of the response to the call of scholars like Gutas to better research this important period of Islamic intellectual history and to reassess the many assumptions surrounding its output.