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Theology and Society in the Second and Third Centuries of the Hijra. Volume 2, A History of Religious Thought in Early Islam by Josef Van Ess (May 2017)

Theology and Society in the Second and Third Centuries of the Hijra. Volume (…)

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The author

Josef van Ess, Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies and Semitic Languages, University of Tübingen, Germany, has published widely on the history of the Islamic World; Islamic theology and philosophy, especially with respect to the formative period (8th-10th centuries) and the age of the Mongol conquests (13th-14th centuries); and Islamic mysticism. His most famous work is Theologie und Gesellschaft in 6 volumes (de Gruyter 1991-97), the first four volumes of which are now being published in English by Brill.

Gwendolin Goldbloom (1969) has produced English translations of several books and a number of articles in the field of Islamic Studies, most of them originally published in German.


Theology and Society is the most comprehensive study of Islamic intellectual and religious history, focusing on Muslim theology. With its emphasis on the eighth and ninth centuries CE, it remains the most detailed prosopographical study of the early phase of the formation of Islam. Originally published in German between 1991 and 1995, Theology and Society is a monument of scholarship and a unique scholarly enterprise which has stood the test of time as an unparalleled reference work.


2.2 Basra
2.2.1 The ‘heretics’ Bashshār b. Burd Ṣāliḥ b. ʿAbd al-Quddūs The Sumaniyya Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ A text against Islam The parody of the Quran The environment. ‘Natural philosophers’
2.2.2 Ḥasan al-Baṣrī and his spiritual successors The Qadariyya Qadarite ideas in hadith Qadarite traditionists The generation following Ḥasan al-Baṣrī The middle generation Pupils of Saʿīd b. Abī ʿArūba Other Qadarites in the second half of the second century The Uswārīs Qadarites among the Basran grammarians Qadariyya and asceticism Ḥasan al-Baṣrī’s younger contemporaries The following generation The importance of ʿAbbādān Theological and juristic special opinions within the circle of Basran ascetics The Bakriyya Asceticism and rationality
2.2.3 The jurists The case of Iyās b. Muʿāwiya Early theoretical texts Experts and jurisconsults Kullu mujtahid muṣīb
2.2.4 Murjiʾites in Basra. The ‘Ghaylāniyya’ Faḍl al-Raqāshī Abū Shamir and his school ‘Jahmites’
2.2.5 The Ibāḍiyya The case of ʿAbdallāh b. Ibāḍ The development of the Basran community The question of qadar The quarrel over the anthropomorphisms Further controversial issues The environment The relation between sin and faith Puritanism and scrupulousness
2.2.6 The early Muʿtazila Wāṣil b. ʿAṭāʾ The chronology of his life. His origins and profession Wāṣil the khaṭīb. His appearance before ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Wāṣil’s speech defect Wāṣil’s relations with the ʿAlids in Medina The image of Wāṣil’s personality Wāṣil’s relationship with ʿAmr b. ʿUbayd and Ḥasan al-Baṣrī The doctrine of the intermediate state Sin and penitence Wāṣil’s relationship with Khārijites and Murjiʾites Wāṣil’s political views Further points of doctrine Epistemological issues ʿAmr b. ʿUbayd Biographical data Political decisions The relationship with Manṣūr The image of ʿAmr’s personality His relationship with Ḥasan al-Baṣrī ʿAmr as an exegete ʿAmr as a legal scholar ʿAmr as a traditionist Theology and politics The pupil generation The circle around Wāṣil The duʿāt Wāṣil’s other pupils The circle around ʿAmr b. ʿUbayd Jurists and traditionists The ‘Muʿtazilites’ of the uprising of AH 145 The origin of the name Muʿtazila
2.2.7 The traditionist reaction Opposition against ʿAmr b. ʿUbayd Ayyūb al-Sakhtiyānī Yūnus b. ʿUbayd ʿAbdallāh b. ʿAwn Sulaymān al-Taymī Abū ʿAmr Ibn al-ʿAlāʾ The next generation
2.2.8 The Muʿtazila in Basra during the second half of the second century Ṣafwān al-Anṣārī The image of the early Muʿtazila in Ṣafwān’s qaṣīda The principle of amr bil-maʿrūf wal-nahy ʿan al-munkar The case of Muḥammad b. Munādhir The position of the Muʿtazila in Basra after 145 The development of theology and law Al-Aṣamm Aṣamm’s ‘ontology’ Aṣamm’s Quranic commentary The consensus of Muslims Consensus and political theory Aṣamm the lawyer Ibn ʿUlayya Further Basran Muʿtazilites
2.2.9 Basran Shīʿites
2.3 Wāsiṭ
2.4 The Jazira
2.4.1 Ḥarrān The Ṣābians Ḥarrān and Islamic theology
2.4.2 Diyār Rabīʿa The Khārijites Mosul Nisibis
2.4.3 Raqqa Sulaymān al-Raqqī Extreme Shīʿites

3. Iran
3.0 General preliminary remarks
3.1 Eastern Iran
3.1.1 Jahm b. Ṣafwān The connection between Jahm and the Jahmiyya
3.1.2 The cities Balkh Quranic exegesis Muqātil b. Ḥayyān Muqātil b. Sulaymān Muqātil’s theological views ʿUmar b. Ṣubḥ and the rafʿ al-yadayn Murjiʾites and Ḥanafites The beginnings of eastern Iranian mysticism Marv Tirmidh Samarqand Herat
3.1.3 Sīstān The Khārijites Ḥamza b. Ādharak’s uprising Non-Khārijite groups
3.1.4 The western part of the province of Khorasan Khorasanian Khārijites The Bayhasiyya Yamān b. Riʾāb The Ibāḍiyya Nishapur
3.2 Central and southern Iran
3.2.1 The Khārijites Yazīd b. Unaysa and the uprising of Abū ʿĪsā al-Iṣfahānī Later Khārijites
3.2.2 ʿAbdallāh b. Muʿāwiya
3.2.3 The cities Isfahan Qom Hamadan Rayy

4. The Arabian Peninsula
4.1 The Hijaz
4.1.1 Mecca The Qadarites The Khārijites The Ibāḍites The Murjiʾites The Shīʿites
4.1.2 Medina The Khārijites The Murjiʾa The Qadarites Al-Nafs al-zakiyya’s uprising Later developments. Resistance against the Qadariyya The Jahmiyya
4.2 Southern Arabia
4.2.1 Yemen The Qadarites Other trends
4.2.2 Oman and Ḥaḍramawt

5. Egypt
5.0 General preliminary remarks
5.1 Shīʿite tendencies
5.2 Counter-trends. The Ibāḍiyya
5.3 Implicit theology. Hadith
5.4 Explicit theology. Kalām
5.4.1 Theologians of uncertain affiliation

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