The First Islamic Reviver: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and his Revival of the Religious Sciences

Hardcover | January 2, 2014

byKenneth Garden

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Building on recent revisionist scholarship, this book offers a new overview of the last two decades of the life of the seminal eleventh-century Islamic thinker Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). It focuses on his masterpiece, the Revival of the Religious Sciences, and argues that al-Ghazali wasthe first Muslim thinker to self-consciously marshal the rhetoric of revival to promote his new vision of the Islamic religious sciences. The "Science of the Hereafter" that is the subject of the Revival draws on Islamic law, Sufism, and the philosophy al-Ghazali is understood to have refuted. While his autobiography suggests that his masterpiece grew out of a radical break with his earlier thought, a reading of his earlier work shows that its major theses were present before his famous spiritual crisis. Al-Ghazali's letters show him actively promoting his revivalist agenda in the finaldecade and a half of his life. This book contextualizes al-Ghazali's famous autobiography and explains what led him to reconstruct a controversy of the Revival, thereby giving such a misleading account of his life and thought.

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Building on recent revisionist scholarship, this book offers a new overview of the last two decades of the life of the seminal eleventh-century Islamic thinker Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). It focuses on his masterpiece, the Revival of the Religious Sciences, and argues that al-Ghazali wasthe first Muslim thinker to self-consciously ...

Kenneth Garden is Assistant Professor of Religion at Tufts University. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Islamic Studies and Muslim World.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 2, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199989621

ISBN - 13:9780199989621

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart 1: Al-Ghazali Before His Revival1. Al-Ghazli and the Seljuk State2. The Scale of Action: An Intellectual Portrait of al-Ghazli on the Eve of his Departure from BaghdadPart 2: The Revival of the Religious Sciences3. The Revival and its Agenda4. The Rhetoric of Revival: Authorizing Strategies and the Presentation of the Science of the HereafterPart 3: Promoting Revival in the World5. Promoting the Revival6. Defending the RevivalConclusion