The tradition of philosophy in the Persian-speaking world is extraordinarily rich, creative and diverse. This anthology, which is divided into five volumes, aims to communicate something of that richness and diversity. The term ‘philosophy’ is understood to in its widest sense to include theological debate, philosophical Sufism and philosophical hermeneutics (taʾwil). Extending over a period of more than two millennia, and showcasing translations by well-established scholars, the anthology offers full bibliographical references throughout. For anyone interested in exploring, in all their varied manifestations, the fascinating philosophical traditions of Persia, such a wide-ranging and ambitious work will be an indispensable resource.

As Islamic theology developed, many of its schools interacted with the philosophical currents of their day resulting in what is known as philosophical theology, or kalām. No treatment of philosophy in Persia would be complete without the inclusion of some of these writings. Texts from the most significant works of these major Islamic theological schools, both Sunni and Shiʿi, written not only in Arabic but also in Persian, are included in this volume. Among the definitive masters of both schools are many Persians, chief among them al-Ghazzālī and Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī who feature prominently here. So far as Shiʿi theology is concerned it was from the beginning more philosophically inclined than the earlier schools of Sunni kalām and its development took place almost exclusively within Persia. Selections from Shiʿi philosophical theology in this volume range from the thirteenth century to modern times and include texts available in translation for the first time.