Ibn Taymiyyas Theological Ethics

Hardcover | November 26, 2015

bySophia Vasalou

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Icon of modern-day fundamentalist movements, firebrand religious purist, tireless polemicist against the intellectual schools of his time - the Ibn Taymiyya we know is a thinker we often associate with hard attitudes and dogmatic stances. Yet there is another Ibn Taymiyya that stands out fromthe pages of his work, the thinker who fashions himself as a master of the via media and as a defender of the harmony between human reason and the religious faith. The aim of this book is to shed fresh light on Ibn Taymiyya's intellectual identity by a close investigation of his ethical thought. Earlier Muslim thinkers debating ethical value had been exercised by a number of core questions. What makes actions right or wrong? How do human beings know it? And what is God's relationship to the evaluative standards discerned by the human mind? An investigation of Ibn Taymiyya's engagement withsuch questions has much to teach us about his intellectual program and particularly about the role of reason and the linchpin concept of human nature (fitra) within this program. It also has much to teach us about Ibn Taymiyya's relationship to the intellectual landscape of his time, bringing us upagainst a rich tapestry of ethical discussions unfolding within theology, philosophy and legal theory in the classical period. At the same time, a close reading of Ibn Taymiyya's ethics invites us to confront not only the content of his thought but its form, and more particularly those features ofhis writing that fracture our efforts to unify his thought.

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Icon of modern-day fundamentalist movements, firebrand religious purist, tireless polemicist against the intellectual schools of his time - the Ibn Taymiyya we know is a thinker we often associate with hard attitudes and dogmatic stances. Yet there is another Ibn Taymiyya that stands out fromthe pages of his work, the thinker who fashi...

Sophia Vasalou is currently a Library of Arabic Literature Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi and an Honorary Research Associate at Oxford Brookes University, and will be a Senior Lecturer and Birmingham Fellow in Philosophical Theology at the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham as of 2016. Her books include Moral ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.42 × 1.18 inPublished:November 26, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019939783X

ISBN - 13:9780199397839

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Ethical value between deontology and consequentialism2. Ethical knowledge between human self-guidance and the revealed Law3. Ibn Taymiyya's ethics and its Ash'arite antecedents4. The aims of the Law and the morality of God5. Broader perspectives on Ibn Taymiyya's ethical rationalism6. Return to the presentNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is the fullest and most philosophically sophisticated discussion to date of Ibn Taymiyya's utilitarian ethics and vision of human nature (fitra). Taking Ibn Taymiyya's prima facie alignment with the ethical objectivism characteristic of Mu'tazilism as her starting point, Vasaloumasterfully shows that he in fact owes far more to medieval Ash'arism than he acknowledges." --Jon Hoover, author of Ibn Taymiyya's Theodicy of Perpetual Optimism