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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the distinctive character of philosophy among Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the medieval Islamic world. It relates philosophy to theology, but also to other competing intellectual projects such as Sufism and Ismaʿīlī esotericism and shows how philosophers argued for the religious legitimacy of their project, among others by portraying religious founders like Abraham as accomplished philosophers. The chapter also addresses methodological issues, most importantly the question how to capture the complicated relations between religious identity, intellectual commitments, and cultural exchange in this period. It ends with a sketch of similarities and differences between philosophy and theology in the Muslim world and in the Latin West.

Keywords: Falsafa, kalām, Muʿtazilites, al-Fārābī, Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī, al-Ghazālī, Averroes, Maimonides, religious pluralism

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