God and Logic in Islam: The Caliphate of Reason by John Walbridge

By John Walbridge

This e-book investigates the imperative position of cause in Islamic highbrow existence. regardless of frequent characterization of Islam as a procedure of trust established in simple terms on revelation, John Walbridge argues that rational equipment, now not fundamentalism, have characterised Islamic legislations, philosophy, and schooling because the medieval interval. His examine demonstrates that this medieval Islamic rational culture used to be adverse by means of either modernists and fundamentalists, leading to a normal cave in of conventional Islamic highbrow existence and its substitute through extra smooth yet a long way shallower kinds of idea. notwithstanding, the assets of this Islamic scholarly culture stay an essential component of the Islamic highbrow culture and should end up important to its revival. the way forward for Islam, Walbridge argues, should be marked via a go back to rationalism.

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2 3 The reader will excuse me for counting the ancient Greeks as part of Western civilization, because they are equally intellectual forebears of Islamic civilization as well as of the semi-Western Orthodox cultures of Byzantium and Russia. In fact, the Greeks seem more Middle Eastern to me than European. Nevertheless, whatever other intellectual descendents they may have, they were unquestionably intellectual ancestors to the modern West, and it is in that sense that I have appropriated them here to the history of Western intellectual life.

I do not believe in a “Muslim mind” or in “Islam” as an autonomous and eternal entity. The human world consists of individual human beings and their individual thoughts and actions. Nevertheless, ideas have power and their own logic, though historical circumstances shape and constrain the expression of those ideas. ammad. What shaped that spiritual experience is a question for a different historical inquiry, but that experience had a particular quality expressed in a set of ideas passed on and given more specific form by the personalities and experiences of the men and women around him.

EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE MIND OF GOD 35 networks of scholars. It is also obvious that after a century or two, not all of the stories in circulation would be reliable. People surely mixed things up or gave their ancestors a more glorious role in the rise of Islam than perhaps they deserved. They might attribute to the Prophet what actually was said by some other early Muslim teacher. Scholars attributed to the Prophet what he ought to have said but did not get around to mentioning. Preachers invented entertaining and edifying stories.

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