I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies
Intellectual Traditions in Islam brings together a number of leading scholars to examine the central role of reason and intellect in the development of the Islamic world into one of the great civilizations. The scope of this volume is wide-ranging, relating to issues and perspectives from the beginnings of Islam to the contemporary period. The contributions by Aziz Esmail, Hugh Kennedy, Oliver Leaman and Muhsin Mahdi are devoted mainly to examining the significance of the intellectual life for Muslims and analysing the variety of internal and external forces – political, religious, philosophical and scientific – which gave rise to the intellectual sciences in the early centuries of Islam.
Norman Calder, Farhad Daftary, Alice C. Hunsberger and Annemarie Schimmel focus on the development of intellectual traditions in various Muslim communities of medieval times. The pre-modern and contemporary periods are the setting for a third group of contributions by John Cooper, Abdulaziz Sachedina and Mohammed Arkoun, which investigate the relationship between political and religious authority on the once hand and the social and intellectual life of Muslims on the other.
All the contributors highlight, in their different ways, the pivotal role of the intellect in the formation of Islamic cultures and its continuing relevance for the Muslim world today. By demonstrating the extent to which some of the seminal achievements of Islamic civilisation were underpinned by a vigorous culture of intellectual enquiry and debate, this publication seeks not only to promote a better understanding of Islam, but also to encourage further debate on the challenges facing Muslim societies today as their enter a new era of unprecedented change in world history.
Notes on the Contributors
2. Intellectual Life in the First Four Centuries of Islam
3. Scientific and Philosophical Enquiry: Achievements and Reactions in Muslim History
4. The Rational Tradition in Islam
5. The Limits of Islamic Orthodoxy
6. Intellectual Life among the Ismailis: An Overview
7. Nasir Khusraw: Fatimid Intellectual
Alice C. Hunsberger
8. Reason and Mystical Experience in Sufism
9. Some Observations on the Religious Intellectual Milieu of Safawid Iran
10. Woman, Half–the–Man? The Crisis of Male Epistemology in Islamic Jurisprudence
11. Present–Day Islam Between its Tradition and Globalization
Farhad Daftary is Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. A scholar of Ismaili studies, he js General Editor of Ismaili Heritage Series, and Ismaili Texts and Translations Series, published by The Institute of Ismaili Studies. He is the author of The Isma’ilis: Their History and Doctrines (Cambridge, 1990), The Assassin Legends: Myths Of the Isma‘ilis (London, 1994), A Short History of the Ismailis, Islamic Surveys (Edinburgh, 1998), and Editor of Mediaeval Isma‘ili History and Thought (Cambridge, 1996). His books have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Urdu a number of European languages. He has contributed numerous articles to The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Encyclopaedia Iranica of which he is a Consulting Editor, as well as several Persian encyclopaedias of Islam; his shorter studies have also appeared in collective volumes and learned journals.