Religion Past and Present

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(636 words)

[German Version]

The Muʿtazilah was a school of major importance in the development of Islamic theology; it emerged in the first half of the 8th century through the teaching of Wāṣil ibn ʿAṭāʾ; in the early 9th century, it rose to become the dominant intellectual school (with political influence). Despite growing opposition, it continued to have a say in theological discussion over the centuries. Its most prominent feature is strict rationalism in addressing questions of physics and metaphysics, a…

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Rudolph, Ulrich, “Muʿtazilah”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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