A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd al-Jabbar by Gabriel Reynolds

By Gabriel Reynolds

In 385 AH/AD 995 the Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar, popular for his Mu'tazili theological writings, wrote the affirmation of the Proofs of Prophecy, a piece that features a inventive polemic opposed to Christianity. 'Abd al-Jabbar reinterprets the Bible, Church heritage (especially the lives of Paul and Constantine) and Christian perform to argue that Christians replaced the Islamic faith of Jesus. the current paintings starts with an exam of the debatable concept that this polemic used to be borrowed from an unknown Judaeo-Christian team. the writer argues that 'Abd al-Jabbar's polemic is healthier understood as a reaction to his specific milieu and the on-going inter-religious debates of the medieval Islamic international. through studying the lifestyles and regarded 'Abd al-Jabbar, besides the Islamic, Christian and Jewish antecedants to his polemic, the writer uncovers the intimate courting among sectarian controversy and the advance of an Islamic doctrine on Christianity.

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Extra resources for A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd al-Jabbar and the Critique of Christian Origins (Islamic History and Civilization)

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Amr,” 225 and Une Lecture à rebours de l’histoire du mu'tazilisme, 97. Ibn al-Ràwandì, himself hardly a model of orthodoxy, considers Îiràr a Mu'tazilì, as do Ibn al-Nadìm (p. e. Ja'far b. Óarb, see above). See (Pseudo-)Nàshi" al-Akbar, K. Ußùl al-ni˙al, in J. van Ess, Frühe mu'tazilitische Häresiographie, 52. These two relegate him to heterodox status, for not holding the five canonical principles of the Mu'tazila: 1. God’s oneness (taw˙ìd ), 2. God’s justice ('adl ), 3. Threat and the punishment in the afterlife (al-wa'd wa-l-wa'ìd ), 4.

28 Van Ess, “The Logical Structure of Islamic Theology,” Logic in Classical Islamic Culture (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1970), 22–4. Van Ess argues (p. 24) that the very term kalàm is related to the Greek term diãlektow. See also van Ess, “Disputationspraxis der islamischen Theologie,” Revue des études islamiques 44 (1976), 23–60. 29 Van Ess: “Nach gängiger Vorstellung begann das systematische Interesse an theologischen Fragen im Islam mit der Mu'tazila. Maimonides sah dies so. . ” TG, 2:233.

Yet they had come to occupy, not to liberate. Mas'ùd took Majd al-Dawla 1 This after a long regency by his mother, Sayyida (d. 419/1028). The death date of Majd al-Dawla is unclear. In 420/1029 he was taken into captivity by the Ghaznavids. According to the Persian history of Abù Sa'ìd 'Abd al-Óayy al-Gardìzì, he was taken first to India and eventually to Ghazna, where he died in captivity. Yet Gardìzì does not provide a death date. See Gardìzì, Zayn al-akhbàr, ed. Mu˙ammad NàΩim (Berlin: Iranschär, 1928), 97.

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