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Early Philosophical Shiism
The Isma'ili Neoplatonism of Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: April 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521060820

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About the Authors
  • The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the fourth Islamic/tenth Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya´qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been largely hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission (da'wa) of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine.

    • The first book-length study of a leading tenth-century Ismaili scholar
    • Uses all al-Sijistani's published and manuscript works, many of which have hitherto been unheard of
    • Presents a highly original and substantial contribution to our knowledge of Ismaili thought
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521060820
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Al-Sijistani's Heritage:
    1. The Ismaili message and its philosophers
    2. Religious and philosophical resources
    3. Ismaili predecessors
    Part II. Al-Sijistani's Universe:
    4. Introduction: categories of thought and terms of analysis
    5. A theology of unqualified transcendence
    6. Creation as command
    7. Intellect, the sum of existent being
    8. Descending and ascending soul
    9. Nature and the physical realm
    10. A cosmic anthropology
    11. Prophecy, the deputy of intellect
    12. Interpretation and its institution
    13. Salvation and the womb of history
    Epilogue: the use and control of reason.

  • Author

    Paul E. Walker

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