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Ammonius (Ps.) son of Hermias

(740 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Ammonius (Ps.) son of Hermias (Ammonios Hermeiou) (d. c.520 C.E.), one of the last important representatives of the philosophical school of Alexandria, is mentioned in a number of Arabic sources. Abū Sulaymān al-Sijistānī reports that he studied with Proclus and himself taught John Philoponus (Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, ʿUyūn 1:144). Ibn al-Nadīm is aware of some of his works. To be sure, three of these (whose authenticity is uncertain) he knows only by hearsay, namely, Explanation of the teachings of Aristotle on the Creator, On Aristotle's intentions in his books, and Aristotle's proof of t…
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū Salama al-Samarqandī

(507 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Salama Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Samarqandī was a Ḥanafī scholar who lived probably in the second half of the fourth/tenth century in Transoxania. As reported by Abū l-Muʿīn al-Nasafī (d. 508/1114) ( Tabṣira 1:358), he was a student of Abū Aḥmad al-ʿIyāḍī, who had studied under Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944), among others. This line of transmission is confirmed by a short theological work by Abū Salama, Jumal uṣūl al-dīn, which is found in an Istanbul manuscript (Şehit Ali 1648/1, fols. 1–16), edited and published by Ahmet Saim Kılavuz. The manuscript also…
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū Shakūr al-Sālimī

(580 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Shakūr Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Sayyid b. Shuʿayb al-Sālimī was a Ḥanafī scholar who lived in Transoxania in the second half of the fifth/eleventh century. Little else is known of his biography, as the Ḥanafī biographical dictionaries do not mention him. His teachings, however, are well attested since his Kitāb al-tamhīd fī bayān al-tawḥīd (Introduction to the explanation of the unity of God) is extant in numerous manuscripts, although it has not yet been edited. In eleven chapters (following MS Berlin 2456), this text provides a comprehensive review of Ḥanafī Māturīdī …
Date: 2021-07-19

al-Balkhī, Abū Muṭīʿ

(871 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Muṭīʿ al-Ḥakam b. ʿAbdallāh b. Maslama al-Balkhī (112–99/730–814) was one of the earliest proponents of the Ḥanafiyya in eastern Iran. Apparently as a young man, he travelled to Mecca and through Iraq (al-Kaʿbī, 93:2–3), where he met Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767). Later, he reportedly also visited Abū Yūsuf (d. 182/798) in Baghdad (al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, 8:223 lines 11–12). Most of his life, however, he spent in his birth city of Balkh, where he held the office of qāḍī for sixteen years and died on 12 Jumādā I 199/30 December 814 (al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, 8:223 lines 15–16). Abū Muṭīʿ adopted…
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū Naṣr al-ʿIyāḍī

(339 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Naṣr Aḥmad b. al-ʿAbbās al-ʿIyāḍī was a Ḥanafī scholar active in Transoxania in the second half of the third/ninth century. Little is known of his life. He was apparently for a time qāḍī of Samarqand, and he is said to have carried on discussions with the Shāfiʿīs. The sources emphasise his capture and martyrdom on a campaign waged by the Sāmānid ruler Naṣr b. Aḥmad (r. 261–79/874–92) against the Turks, presumably towards the end of his reign. Despite the paucity of our sources, it is apparent that al-ʿIyāḍī played a significant role in the development of Ḥanafī theol…
Date: 2021-07-19


(5,978 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Frankemölle, Hubert | Lang, Bernhard | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Buddhism – IX. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. Hell as a place of retribution in the afterlife for those who continually transgress the religiously sanctioned rules of their community is not specifically Christian or monotheistic. But it is also not an idea that springs automatically from the question of how the dead exist (Death). Although hell was long viewed as a…

Natural Law/Law of Nature

(972 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Science Natural laws express regular connections between natural phenomena, with the ideal aim of potential mathematical modeling. Depending on whether the connection is unconditionally valid, or merely describes probabilities, a distinction can be made between deterministic and statistical natural laws. In classical physics, all natural events are consistently determined by laws of causality; only epistemic chance in relation to the state of the observer’s knowledge is allowed (…


(15,859 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Tilman | Ende, Werner | Radtke, Bernd | Rudolph, Ulrich | Krawietz, Birgit | Et al.
[German Version] I. Origin and Spread – II. Doctrine – III. Islamic Philosophy – IV. Islamic Art (Architecture and Book Art) – V. Islamic Studies – VI. Christianity and Islam – VII. Judaism and Islam – VIII. Islam in Europe – IX. Islam in North America – X. Political Islamism I. Origin and Spread 1. Muḥammad and his message In 569 ce, Muḥammad was born in Mecca, a city with the shrine of the Kaʿba at its center. Mecca enjoyed good relations with the Sasanian Empire and its Arab vassal princes in Ḥīra, but considered itself politically independen…

Determinism and Indeterminism

(3,196 words)

Author(s): Drees, Willem B. | Rudolph, Ulrich | Clayton, Philip
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Systematic Theology – III. Islamic Theology – IV. Philosophy of Science – V. Physics I. Fundamental Theology Determinism is the thesis that given a particular state of affairs (e.g. “the world now”) another state cannot be other than it is or will be (e.g. “the world tomorrow”). Fatalism is a slightly different idea, namely that an aspect of reality is unavoidable (e.g. one's own death…

Divine Attributes

(4,975 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Brümmer, Vincent | Schmidt, Werner H. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Amir, Yehoyada | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Islam I. Religious Studies In the context of rational Christian metaphysics, the knowability of God is assumed and God-talk is substantiated in such a way that certain attributes, such as holiness (Sacred and profane: V), eternity, …


(22,095 words)

Author(s): Filoramo, Giovanni | Müller, Hans-Peter | Lindemann, Andreas | Sautter, Gerhard | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Philosophy of Religion – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam (cf. Present and Future Eschatology, Consistent Eschatology) I. Religious Studies 1. The Problem of Terminology Eschatology (“discourse” or “doctrine” [Gk λόγος/ lógos] concerning the “last things” [Gk ἔσχατα/ éschata]) is a neologism that was introduced in the late 18th century in the con- text of the definition of the “last things,” i.e. of the novissima of medieval theology (death, …


(358 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (Abū Ḥāmid al-Gazzālī; 1058–1111 ce) from Ṭūs in northeastern Iran, the Algazel of the Latin Middle Ages, was one of the most important and, to date, most influential scholars in Islam. From a religious family, he first studied the traditional Islamic disciplines and taught law and theology from 1091 on in the leading Sunni academy in Baghdad. Simultaneously, however, Gazzālī sought to engage with the other intellectual trends of the epoch (Sufism, philosophy, the Šīʿite Ismāʿīlīya; Š…


(8,968 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Seebass, Horst | Gödde, Susanne | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Phenomenology Western, Christian connotations of the concept of the soul, imposed on the religio-historical evidence by outside studies, must be generally excluded if the soul is understood as the principle of manifestations of life that are perceptible (or culturally considered to be perceptible), although they are rarely categorized under a common umbrella term. It is therefore reasonable to speak of a multiplicity of souls – for example four among the Ob-Ugrians (Hasenfratz, Einführung, 38–41), five among the Proto-Germanic peoples ( ib…

Hereafter, Concepts of the

(5,151 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Janowski, Bernd | Necker, Gerold | Haase, Mareile | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Art History I. Religious Studies All cultures have concepts of a hereafter or beyond (“the next world”), although they are extremely diverse. They involve a realm of existence different from the visible earthly world but nevertheless thought of as real. Concepts of the hereafter are part of cosmology and therefore are related to the real world: the hereafter may be localized above or below the earth, in inaccessib…


(11,110 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Janowski, Bernd | Herrmann, Klaus | Wischmeyer, Oda | Gunton, Colin E. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. History of Theology – VI. Creation and Preservation – VII. Religious Education – VIII. Islam – IX. Science – X. Art History I. History of Religion 1. Fundamentals Life, nature, the environment, the passage of time – these are everyday experiences for any society. But reality also includes the danger that this world may be imperiled or perilous. Chaos and death are part …


(563 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (Lat. form of Abū aʿAlī al-Ḥusain ibn ʿAbdallāh Ibn Sīnā; c. 980, Afšana near Buḫārā – 1037, Hamadān), a comprehensive scholar, outstanding physician and philosopher, whose thought has exerted lasting influence on later Islamic intellectual history, but also on European scholasticism. Avicenna developed his philosophical doctrines in dialogue with Aris…

Righteousness/Justice of God

(5,846 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Spieckermann, Hermann | Klaiber, Walter | Holmes, Stephen R. | Avemarie, Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Human destiny. The human experience of existence holds both positive and negative events. Personal and structural processes involving violence and suffering are constants. The “horizon of justice and righteousness” allows us to surmise that the events that take place in the course of the world are not random but are turbulences on the surface of a fundamental order. Disorientation (anomie) does not destroy the need for security. These turbulences remain a question to which religious ¶ traditions and atheistic projections of Dasein offer ans…


(4,895 words)

Author(s): Röhser, Günter | Link, Christian | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Bible 1. Old Testament and early Jewish apocalypticism. Predestination refers traditionally to God’s foreordained final determination regarding the eschatological salvation or damnation of each individual. In this sense, it represents a subset of a universal notion of divine predetermination (Determinism and indeterminism: II) taken to its logical individual and soteriological extreme, as is found in both Judaism and Christianity. The Old Testament does not speak of predestination in …


(636 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[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…

Existence of God, Proofs of the

(4,069 words)

Author(s): Helm, Paul | Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Islamic Theology I. Philosophy of Religion Philosophy of religion deals with the problem of the question of proofs of God in the broader context of delineating the relationship between faith and reason. A relationship between religion and philosophy has existed since antiquity. Plato's thought can be understood as philosophical commentary on popular Greek religion. This interrelationship led (e.g. in the Leges) to reflection on the nature of the divine and creation (Plato, Tim.) along with impulses …
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