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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the Twelver Shīʿites’ reception of Muʿtazilism. It begins with a historical background on the rational theology of the Twelver Shīʿites between the mid third/ninth and seventh/thirteenth century, along with mutakallimūn’s engagement in defence of Shīʿī doctrines against non-Shīʿī opponents and the teachings of the Imams. It then discusses Twelver Shīʿism increased turn towards Muʿtazilism during the so-called ‘Minor Occultation’ and its consequences both for the mutakallimūn among the Imamis and the traditionists. It also considers the impact of Bahshamite Muʿtazilism on the Imami traditionists during the ‘Major Occultation’, as well as the Imami mutakallimūn’s growing reservation against the controversial doctrines of the Bahshamiyya, coupled with a slow—real or imagined—‘return’ towards the early doctrines of the Imams. The chapter concludes with a look at Imami theologians who were active in Khurasan (Nishapur and Bayhaq) and in Rayy during the Saljuq period.

Keywords: Twelver Shīʿites, Muʿtazilism, mutakallimūn, Imamis, Twelver Shīʿism, Minor Occultation, Major Occultation, Bahshamiyya, Rayy, Khurasan

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