Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies)

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Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies)
Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions.jpg
AuthorHassan Ansari
PublisherLockwood Press

The book Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies) focus primarily on theology and on the reception of Muʿtazilī thought in the Zaydī and Twelver traditions, and are exceedingly important for Islamic studies generally.

About the authors[edit | edit source]

Hassan Ansari earned his doctorate at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of the Sorbonne, Paris. He is currently a long-term member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Sabine Schmidtke is professor of Islamic intellectual history in the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

About the book[edit | edit source]

This book published in Lockwood Press (November 1, 2017) has 472 pages and the best sellers rank of 4,714,041 in Books.

The chapters of this book are derived from numbers of articles, which have been updated, the transliteration and annotation systems have been unified, and the references have been brought together into a unified bibliography at the end of the book.

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

Part 1: Muʿtazilism[edit | edit source]

This part and the next one, revolve around Muʿtazilism and Zaydism, both constituting fields that are “latecomers” to scholarship in Islamic studies. Their exploration among Western scholars, dates back to the turn of the twentieth century, when several European libraries purchased significant collections of manuscripts of Yemeni provenance. The study of Muʿtazilism was resumed only decades later, when significant numbers of Muʿtazilite works became available as a result of two Egyptian scholarly expeditions to Yemen (1951–52, 1964), during which numerous manuscripts were microfilmed and subsequently published.

Part 2: Zaydism in Iran[edit | edit source]

This part is about Zaydism. The scholarly exploration of Zaydism likewise began during the early twentieth century with Rudolf Strothmann (1877–1960), during a visit to Berlin on October 5–17, 1908. Over the next couple of years, he spent extended periods of time in the Berlin State Library studying a large number of Zaydī manuscripts, and his extensive scholarly output on Zaydism laid the foundation for this, at the time, entirely new field of study. Dutch scholars were also engaged in Zaydī studies, as were Italian arabists, who had the largest collections of Yemeni manuscripts at their disposal.  

Part 3: Zaydism in Yemen[edit | edit source]

This part is about researchers from Yemen who produced important scholarship on the political and intellectual history of Zaydism, as did Egyptian scholars beginning in the 1950s. The mentioned manuscripts are also the point of departure for the remaining studies included in this book (part 4, 5 and 6), which deal with Imamite Shiism, mysticism, and bibliographical practices.

Part 4: Twelver Shiism[edit | edit source]

The three chapters on this part, focus on Imamite Shiism’s doctrinal history during the period between al-Sharif al-Murtaḍa and the emergence of the School of al-Ḥilla—a period during which Imamite theologians replaced the teachings of Bahshamite Muʿtazilism by those of Abu l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣri and his followers.

Part 5: Mysticism[edit | edit source]

This part focuses on a manuscript owned by the Vatican Library of Abū Saʿd al-Ḫargūšī’s K. al-Lawāmiʿ, which has been overlooked by earlier scholars for the simple reason (so it would seem) that Fuat Sezgin did not include the holdings of the Vatican Library in his Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttum.

Part 6: Bibliographical Traditions[edit | edit source]

The present book concludes with this part, discussing some of the prevalent bibliographical practices and traditions among Muslim scholars during the premodern period, together with an analysis of a mid-eighteenth-century endowment deed, now owned by the Berlin State Library, that records the donation of a substantial private book collection.

Source[edit | edit source]