Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology

Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology

by Frank Griffel
     
 

The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the

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Overview

The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the provinces for no money. His contributions to Islamic scholarship range from responding to the challenges of Aristotelian philosophy to creating a new type of Islamic mysticism and integrating both these traditions-falsafa and Sufism-into the Sunni mainstream. This book offers a comprehensive study of al-Ghazali's life and his understanding of cosmology-how God creates things and events in the world, how human acts relate to God's power, and how the universe is structured. Frank Griffel presents a serious revision of traditional views on al-Ghazali, showing that his most important achievement was the creation of a new rationalist theology in which he transformed the Aristotelian views of thinkers such as Avicenna to accord with intellectual currents that were well-established within Muslim theological discourse. Using the most authoritative sources, including reports from al-Ghazali's students, his contemporaries, and his own letters, Griffel reconstructs every stage in a turbulent career. The al-Ghazali that emerges offers many surprises, particularly on his motives for leaving Baghdad and the nature of his "seclusion" afterwards. Griffel demonstrates that al-Ghazali intended to create a new cosmology that moved away from concerns held earlier by Muslim theologians and Arab philosophers. This new theology aimed to provide a framework for the pursuit of the natural sciences and a basis for Islamic science and philosophy to flourish beyond the 12th century. Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology is the most thorough examination to date of this important thinker.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195331622
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

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Table of Contents

Timetable
Introduction
Chapter One: A Life Between Public and Private Instruction: Al-Ghazali's Biography The Main Sources for Ghazali's Biography
Chapter Two: Al-Ghazali's Most Influential Students and Followers
Chapter Three: Al-Ghazali On the Role of falsafa in Islam
Chapter Four: The Reconciliation of Reason and Revelation Through the ''Rule of Interpretation''
Chapter Five: Cosmology in Early Islam-Developments that Led to al-Ghazali's Incoherence of the Philosophers
Chapter Six: The Seventeenth Discussion of the Incoherence of the Philosophers
Chapter Seven: Knowledge of Causal Connections is Necessary
Chapter Eight: Causes and Effects in the Revival of the Religious Sciences
Chapter Nine: Cosmology in Works Written After the Revival
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
General Index
Index of Works by al-Ghazali
Index of Manuscripts
Index of Verses in the Qur'an

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