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Other titles in the Suny Series, Islam series:
Ibn Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam (Suny Series, Islam)by Alexander D. Knysh
Synopses & Reviews
This book examines the fierce theological controversy over the great Muslim mystical thinker Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1242). Even during his lifetime, Ibn 'Arabi's conformity with the letter of the Muslim dogma was called into doubt by many scholars who were suspicious of the monistic (unitive) tendencies of his metaphysical teaching, of his claims to be the Prophet's successor and restorer of the true meaning of the Islamic revelation, and of his allegorical interpretation of the Qur'an.<P>Following Ibn 'Arabi's death, these misgivings grew into an outright condemnation of his teachings by a number of influential thirteenth through fifteenth century theologians who portrayed him as a dangerous heretic bent on undermining the foundations of Islamic faith and communal life. In response to these grave accusations, Ibn 'Arabi's advocates praised him as the greatest saint of Islam who was unjustly slandered by the bigoted and narrow-minded critics.<P>As time went on, these conflicting images of the mystical thinker became rallying points for various political and scholarly factions vying for lucrative religious and administrative posts and ideological denomination. In thoroughly analyzing the heated debates around Ibn 'Arabi's ideas throughout the three centuries following his death, this study brings out discursive strategies and arguments employed by the polemicists, the hidden agendas they pursued, and the reasons for the striking longevity of the issue in Islamic literature up to the present day.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 347-424) and indexes.
Table of Contents
Defining the approach — The biographical prelude — Between Damascus and Cairo: the affair of Ibn °Abd al-Salam — Ibn Taymiyya's formidable challenge — Ibn °Arabi in the biographical literature form the 8th, 14th-9th, 15th centuries — The metaphysical argument revisited: al-Taftazani — Ibn °Arabi in the Muslim west: a prophet in his own land? — Egypt: the polemic continues — Ibn °Arabi in Yemen.
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