Fakhr-al-Din al-Razi and Thomas Aquinas on the Question of the Eternity of the World

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This volume examines the approaches of Fakhr-al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 1209) and Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) to the question of the eternity of the world, which was one of the most heated issues of debate between theologians and philosophers in the Middle Ages.
The first chapter of the book gives some background to the discussion from Greek philosophy, early Judaeo-Christian and Muslim traditions. The second and the third chapters discuss the approaches of Rāzī and Aquinas respectively to the question of the eternity of the world. The last chapter compares their approaches, brings out some similarities of their approaches between them as well as in relation to their own traditions, Islam and Christianity respectively.
The book tries to show that though they were theologians, both Rāzī and Aquinas were more in line with the philosophers than their fellow theologians.

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Editorial Reviews

This thesis examines Razi's (1149-1209) and Aquinas' (1225- 1274) views on the question of the eternity of the world. It situates each thinker within his religious tradition (Muslim and Christian, respectively) and describes the ways each breaks with that tradition in favor of a more philosophical than theological approach to the matter. The contributions of Greek thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus are highlighted. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Muammer İskenderoğlu, Ph.D. (2001) in Theology, Birmingham University, is Assistant Professor of Islamic Philosophy at Sakarya University, Adapazarı in Turkey.
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Table of Contents

List of main abbreviations
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Background to the Question
1.1 The Origin of the World in Greek Philosophical Thinking 8
1.2 The Interaction of Greek Philosophical Theories with the Judaeo-Christian Tradition 16
1.3 The Discussions of the Problem in the Islamic Tradition 29
Ch. 2 Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi on the Eternity of the World
2.1 Razi's Life and Relevant Works 59
2.2 Razi and the Discussion of the Problem 62
2.3 Preliminary Discussions 64
2.4 The Arguments of the Advocates of the Eternity of the World 74
2.5 The Arguments of the Advocates of the Temporal Creation of the World 110
Ch. 3 Thomas Aquinas on the Eternity of the World
3.1 Aquinas' Life and Relevant Works 125
3.2 Aquinas and the Problem of the Eternity of the World 128
3.3 The Arguments of the Advocates of the Eternity of the World 132
3.4 The Advocates of the Temporal Beginning of the World 149
3.5 The Possibility of an Eternally Created World 154
Ch. 4 Razi and Aquinas on the Question of the Eternity of the World
4.1 Revelation and the Formulation of the Mainstream Theory of Creation 164
4.2 Evaluation of the Arguments of the Advocates of the Eternity of the World 171
4.3 Evaluation of the Arguments of the Advocates of the Temporal Beginning of the World 179
Bibliography 187
Index 195
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