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Book: Ideas in Motion in Baghdad and Beyond

This collection of papers, edited by Damien Janos, represents a significant milestone: Janos’ own paper is probably the most interesting article ever published on Abū Bisr Mattā, founder of the Baghdad school, and there are several important studies of Ibn ʿAdī as well. These investigations of the Baghdad Peripatetics are contextualized with pieces on the wider development of Christian thought.

The book “Ideas in Motion in Baghdad and Beyond: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between Christians and Muslims in the Third/Ninth and Fourth/Tenth Centuries” contains a collection of articles focusing on the philosophical and theological exchanges between Muslim and Christian intellectuals living in Baghdad during the classical period of Islamic history, when this city was a vibrant center of philosophical, scientific, and literary activity. The philosophical accomplishments and contribution of Christians writing in Arabic and Syriac represent a crucial component of Islamic society during this period, but they have typically been studied in isolation from the development of mainstream Islamic philosophy. The present book aims for a more integrated approach by exploring case studies of philosophical and theological cross-pollination between the Christian and Muslim traditions, with an emphasis on the Baghdad School and its main representative, Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī.

Contributors: Carmela Baffioni, David Bennett, Gerhard Endress, Damien Janos, Olga Lizzini, Ute Pietruschka, Alexander Treiger, David Twetten, Orsolya Varsányi, John W. Watt, Robert Wisnovsky

About the Editor

Damien Janos (PhD, McGill University, 2009) has worked for several years as a postdoctoral researcher in Canadian and German institutions. His research focuses primarily on the history of Arabic philosophy and especially on the works of al-Fārābī and Avicenna.

Table of contents

  • The Syriac Aristotelian tradition and the Syro-Arabic Baghdad Philosophers
  • Palestinian origenism and the early history of the Maronites: in search of the origins of the Arabic theology of Aristotle
  • Some observations about the transmission of popular philosophy in Egyptian Monasteries after the Islamic Conquest
  • The concept of ‘aql in early Arabic Christian Theology: A Case for the early interaction between philosophy and Kalam
  • “active nature” and other striking features of Abu Bishr matta ibn Yunus’s cosmology as reconstructed from his commentary on Aristotle’s physics
  • Between Hellenism, Islamic and Christianity: Abu Bakr al-Razi and his controversies with contemporary Mu’tazilite theologies as reported by the Ash’arite theologian and philosopher Fakhr al-Din Razi
  • Philosophy as a Rational Science: Aristotelian philosophy, the Christian trinity and Islamic monotheism in the thought of Yahya ibn ‘Adi

Bibliographic Information

Title: Ideas in Motion in Baghdad and Beyond: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between Christians and Muslims in the Third/Ninth and Fourth/Tenth Centuries (Islamic History and Civilization)

Editor: Damien Janos

Publisher: Brill; Lam edition

 Language: English

Length: 480 pages

ISBN: 9789004306028

Pub. Date: 2016

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