Freethinkers of Medieval Islam: Ibn Al-Rawāndī, Abū Bakr Al-Rāzī and Their Impact on Islamic Thought

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BRILL, Jan 1, 1999 - Social Science - 261 pages
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This book endeavors to identify and define the phenomenon of freethinking in medieval Islam, in particular as exemplified in the figures of the two most notorious intellectual heretics, Ibn al-R?wand? (9th C.) and Ab? Bakr al-R?z? (10th C.). The development of Islamic freethinking is analyzed on the background of the paramount importance of prophetology in Islam. The book examines the image of the freethinkers in Islam and its connection to the legacy of late antiquity, and to the traditions about Indian and Sabian religions. The last chapters examine repercussions of his phenomenon in various aspects of Muslim, Jewish and Christian medieval thought. It is argued that, despite its rare occurrence, freethinking was in fact a pivotal Islamic phenomenon, which had a major impact on the development of Islamic thought.
 

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Contents

The Signs of Prophecy The Touchstone
21
Ibn alRawandT and his Baffling Book of
37
Abu Bakr alRazi A Respectable
87
The Religion of the Freethinkers
121
The Pagan Legacy of the Freethinkers
142
The Impact of the Freethinkers on Islamic
168
From Muslim Heresy to Interreligious
193
Repercussions of Islamic Freethinking
214
Conclusion
239
General Index
251
Index of Sources
259
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About the author (1999)

Sarah Stroumsa, Ph.D. (1984), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is currently a professor of Arabic and Jewish thought. She has published extensively on medieval intellectual history in Arabic, especially on Judeo-Arabic thought, including, most recently, "The Beginnings of the Maimonidean Controversy in the East" (Jerusalem, 1999).

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