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The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology

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  • Page extent: 352 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.56 kg

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521785495)

The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology
Cambridge University Press
9780521780582 - THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO CLASSICAL ISLAMIC THEOLOGY - by Tim Winter
Frontmatter/Prelims





THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO
CLASSICAL ISLAMIC THEOLOGY

This series of critical reflections on the evolution and major themes of pre-modern Muslim theology begins with the revelation of the Qur’an, and extends to the beginnings of modernity in the eighteenth century. The significance of Islamic theology reflects the immense importance of Islam in the history of monotheism, to which it has brought a unique approach and style, and a range of solutions which are of abiding interest. Devoting especial attention to questions of rationality, scriptural fidelity and the construction of “orthodoxy”, this volume introduces key Muslim theories of revelation, creation, ethics, scriptural interpretation, law, mysticism and eschatology. Throughout the treatment is firmly set in the historical, social and political context in which Islam’s distinctive understanding of God evolved.

Despite its importance, Islamic theology has been neglected in recent scholarship, and this book provides a unique, scholarly but accessible introduction.

Tim Winter is University Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.






CAMBRIDGE COMPANIONS TO RELIGION

A series of companions to major topics and key figures in theology and religious studies. Each volume contains specially commissioned chapters by international scholars which provide an accessible and stimulating introduction to the subject for new readers and non-specialists.

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THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO
CLASSICAL ISLAMIC THEOLOGY

Edited by Tim Winter





CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521785495

© Cambridge University Press 2008

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2008

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

The Cambridge companion to classical Islamic theology / edited by Tim Winter.
p. cm. – (Cambridge companions to religion)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-521-78058-2 (hardback : alk. paper) – ISBN 978-0-521-78549-5 (pbk. : alk. paper)
 1. Islam–Theology–History. 2. Islam–Doctrines–History. I. Winter, T. J. II. Title: Classical Islamic theology. III. Series.
BP166.1. C36 2008
297.209–dc22
2008008970

ISBN 978-0-521-78058-2 hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-78549-5 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.





Contents

Notes on contributors page ix
Introduction 1
TIM WINTER
Part I Historical perspectives
1 Qur’an and hadith 19
M. A. S. ABDEL HALEEM
2 The early creed 33
KHALID BLANKINSHIP
3 Islamic philosophy (falsafa) 55
HOSSEIN ZIAI
4 The developed kalām tradition 77
OLIVER LEAMAN (PART I) AND SAJJAD RIZVI (PART II)
5 The social construction of orthodoxy 97
AHMED EL SHAMSY
Part II Themes
6 God: essence and attributes 121
NADER EL-BIZRI
7 Creation 141
DAVID B. BURRELL CSC
8 Ethics 161
STEFFEN A. J. STELZER
9 Revelation 180
YAHYA MICHOT
10 The existence of God 197
AYMAN SHIHADEH
11 Worship 218
WILLIAM C. CHITTICK
12 Theological dimensions of Islamic law 237
UMAR F. ABD-ALLAH
13 Theology and Sufism 258
TOBY MAYER
14 Epistemology and divine discourse 288
PAUL-A. HARDY
15 Eschatology 308
MARCIA HERMANSEN
Index 325




Notes on contributors

Umar F. Abd-Allah received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1978 with a dissertation on the origins of Islamic law. His principal interests are Islamic intellectual and spiritual history, the history of Islam in the West, and comparative religion. He taught academically in the United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia for more than twenty years before taking up his present post as chairperson and scholar-in-residence of the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago), an educational organisation devoted to exploring Islamic intellectual, spiritual and cultural legacies and making them relevant today. His most recent book, A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb, appeared in 2006.

M. A. S. Abdel Haleem was educated at al-Azhar, Cairo, and Cambridge Universities, and has taught Arabic at the universities of Cambridge and London since 1966. He is now Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Among his recent publications are Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style (2001), English Translations of the Qur’an: The Making of an Image (2004), and a new translation of The Qur’an (2004).

Nader El-Bizri is a Research Associate in Philosophy at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Visiting Professor at Lincoln University, and acts as a Chercheur Associé at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Paris). He previously taught at the universities of Nottingham and Harvard and the American University of Beirut. In addition, he is an elected member of the Steering Committee of the Société Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences et des Philosophies Arabes et Islamiques (CNRS, Paris). His areas of research are Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, Phenomenology, and Architectural Humanities.

Khalid Blankinship obtained his PhD in history in 1988, with a specialisation in Islam, from the University of Washington. Since 1990, he has worked as a professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has remained active in research and lecturing on religion in general and Islam in particular. His book, The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads was published in 1994; he also translated two of the thirty-eight volumes of The History of al-Ṭabarī for the Ṭabarī Translation Project.

David B. Burrell CSC is Theodore M. Hesburgh Professor in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, USA. His publishing career began in 1973 with Analogy and Philosophical Language, and led to a series of studies of St Thomas Aquinas. Since 1982 he has worked mainly in comparative issues in philosophical theology in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His more recent works include Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions (1993), and two translations of theological texts by al-Ghazālī.

William C. Chittick is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Asian and Asian-American Studies, State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has published twenty-five books and numerous articles on Islamic intellectual history, including The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (1983), The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabî’s Metaphysics of Imagination (1989), and The Heart of Islamic Philosophy (2001).

Ahmed El Shamsy is a doctoral candidate in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He received his BA and MSc from the University of London, and has also studied Islamic theology and law in Germany and Egypt. His doctoral research investigates the early social and intellectual history of the Shāfi‘ī school of law; in conjunction with this project, he is preparing a critical edition of a ninth-century work by al-Shāfi‘ī’s successor al-Buwayṭī.

Paul-A. Hardy took his BA/MA from Oxford, and his PhD in Islamic Thought from the University of Chicago. He has lectured at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London and at Hunter College, New York. He is the author of the forthcoming Avicenna on Self-Knowing.

Marcia Hermansen is Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Islamic World Studies Minor at Loyola University, Chicago. She published The Conclusive Argument from God: Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi’s Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha (1996), and is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2003).

Oliver Leaman has been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky, USA, since 2000. Before that he taught in the United Kingdom and Africa. He has written Islamic Aesthetics: An Introduction (2004). He edited The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia, and the Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Philosophers, both published in 2006. He has also written and edited several earlier publications on Islamic philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

Yahya Michot was from 1981 until 1997 Director of the Centre for Arabic Philosophy at the University of Louvain, before taking up his current post as Islamic Centre Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. His research interests include the theology of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) and the life and philosophy of Avicenna (d. 1037). Among his recent publications are



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