Abū Yaʻqūb al-Sijistānī : intellectual missionary /
Paul E. Walker.
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies ; New York, NY : Distributed in the U.S.A. by St Martin's Press, 1996.
xv, 132 p. ; 23 cm.
More Details
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies ; New York, NY : Distributed in the U.S.A. by St Martin's Press, 1996.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [119]-127) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Paul E. Walker is an historian of ideas currently affiliated with the University of Chicago. He has published numerous studies on the Fatimids and on Ismaili thought in its earliest phases.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-06-01:
This is Walker's third book on this important Ismaili philosopher and theologian from the tenth century CE. His 1993 book Early Philosophical Shiism: The Ismaili Neoplatonism of Ab Ya` qb al-Sijist~n (CH Apr'94) focuses on his use of Greek philosophy; The Wellsprings of Wisdom (CH, Feb'95) is a translation of and commentary on one of the philosopher's central treatises. The present volume provides a more comprehensive view of al- Sijist~n's thought, particularly his cosmology, metaphysics, and soteriology. Walker (Univ. of Chicago) investigates whether his system as a whole is coherent and consistent. As compared to the 1993 study, this one is less concerned with philosophical detail and the Greek philosophical background. But it provides more detailed summaries of al-Sijist~n's many works and more extensive analyses of the theologian's accounts of salvation and of God's nature. The book contains a good bibliography but no footnotes, and Walker avoids scholarly controversies and references. This is a highly accessible introduction to a significant Islamic thinker. However, many libraries that already own the 1993 study may well feel justified in passing by this useful volume. Undergraduate. J. Bussanich University of New Mexico
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1996
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Description for Bookstore
Paul E. Walker looks at this important missionary of the tenth century from a fresh perspective. Though long neglected by historians of Islamic philosophy, al-Sijistani's recently recovered writings establish him both as a philosopher and as an exponent of the intellectual understanding of Islam. The old problem of the meaning of science and religion and their interaction as reflected in the thought of an Ismaili author from the early Islamic period is now interpreted within the framework that brings together ideas and obscure doctrines surviving only piecemeal from medieval Arabic books and treatises. This book provides a coherent overview of al-Sijistani's contributions as a thinker.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
The Shiite Renaissance: Religion and Science in the Early Ismaili Missionp. 1
The Renaissance Centuryp. 1
The Intellectual Dimensionp. 3
The Intellectual Mission and its Missionariesp. 5
The Confrontation with Philosophyp. 10
The Personnel of the Renaissancep. 14
The School of Khurasanp. 17
Two Renaissance Menp. 19
The Literature of Ideasp. 20
The Sources of Truthp. 26
The Quest for Certaintyp. 26
The Wellsprings of Truthp. 29
Intellect and the ta'yidp. 32
The Soul and its tarkibp. 39
The Speaking-prophet and his ta'lifp. 45
The Sacred Interpretation and its Founderp. 52
The Ladder of Salvationp. 59
The Excellence of Humansp. 59
History and Hierarchyp. 63
The Messiahp. 71
Paradisep. 77
The Ultimate Recourse in God and the tawhidp. 84
The Problem of tawhidp. 84
Intellectual Anthropomorphismp. 88
Creationp. 92
A Language for Theologyp. 94
Al-Sijistani's Contributionsp. 101
The Study of al-Sijistani and his Works: A Brief History and Guidep. 104
Select Bibliographyp. 119
Indexp. 128
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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