Parution: Frank Griffel, The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam, Oxford Scholarship Online, 2021


The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam
Frank Griffel






This is a comprehensive study of the far-reaching changes that led to a reshaping of the philosophical discourse in Islam during the sixth/twelfth century. Whereas earlier Western scholars thought that Islam’s engagement with the tradition of Greek philosophy ended during that century, more recent analyses suggest its integration into the genre of rationalist Muslim theology (kalam). This book proposes a third view about the fate of philosophy in Islam. It argues that in addition to this integration, Muslim theologians picked up the discourse of philosophy in Islam (falsafa) and began to produce books on philosophy. Written by the same authors, books in these two genres, kalam and philosophy (hikma), argue for opposing teachings on the nature of God, the world’s creation, and the afterlife. This study explains the emergence of a new genre of philosophical books called hikma that stand opposed to Islamic theology and at the same time wish to complement it. Offering a detailed history of philosophy in Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia during the sixth/twelfth century together with an analysis of the circumstances of practicing philosophy during this time, this study can show how reports of falsafa, written by major Muslim theologians such as al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111), developed step-by-step into critical assessments of philosophy that try to improve philosophical teachings and eventually become fully fledged philosophical summas in the work of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 606/1210). The book ends in a discussion of the different methods of kalam and hikma and the coherence and ambiguity of a Muslim post-classical philosopher’s œuvre.

Keywords: history of philosophytwelfth centuryreason versus revelationhikmakalamfalasifamutakallimunambiguity in Islam


Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190886325
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190886325.001.0001

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Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2021, 15 novembre). Parution: Frank Griffel, The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam, Oxford Scholarship Online, 2021. IISMM. Consulté le 19 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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