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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the theology of the Twelver Shīʿites from the seventh/thirteenth century onwards. It begins by citing the role of Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī in ‘modernizing’ Twelver Shīʿī theology by introducing Avicennan notions into the kalām discourse, a development that had started among the Ashʿarites with Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī. It then considers al-Ṭūsī’s devotion to Avicennan philosophy, astronomy, and mathematics; his doctrinal tracts that proved influential for the later development of Twelver Shīʿism; and his impact on the scholarly circles of al-Ḥilla. Finally, it discusses the adoption of Twelver Shīʿism as the religion of the Safavid dynasty and the efforts of the opponents of philosophical theology to establish themselves as the official representatives of Twelver Shīʿism.

Keywords: Twelver Shīʿites, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, Twelver Shīʿī theology, kalām, Avicennan philosophy, Twelver Shīʿism, al-Ḥilla, Safavid dynasty, philosophical theology

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