ISLAMCIV 145A: Introduction to Islamic Philosophy and Theology: The Classical and Medieval Period

Instructor: Khaled El-Rouayheb

Islamic Civilizations 145A is an introduction to some of the key problems and figures in medieval Islamic theology and philosophy. The main topics covered will be:   The rise of theological controversies in early Islam and the crystallization of theological factions; the rise of an Arabic tradition of Neo-Platonized Aristotelianism with such figures as Farabi (d. 950) and Avicenna (d.1037); the confrontation between the theological and Aristotelian traditions in such works as The Incoherence of the Philosophers by the theologian al-Ghazali (d.1111) and the response by Averroes (d.1198); the powerful influence of philosophy on later Islamic theology; the anti-Aristotelian, Platonist philosophy of “Illumination” of Suhrawardi (d.1191), and the mystical monism of Ibn Arabi (d.1240) and his followers.

Any student is welcome who would like to know more about the vigorous and long-lived Islamic traditions of theology and philosophy. No prior knowledge of Islam is presupposed, and all readings will be in English. Assigned readings, additional handouts and announcements for the course will be available through the course web site.