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Title: Early Philosophical Shiism: The Isma'ili Neoplatonism of Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani
Author: Walker, Paul E
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 1993
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780521441292
Volumes: 1; Pages: 219
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The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the 4th Islamic/10th Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been largely hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission (da'wa) of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine.ContentsPart I. Al-Sijistani's Heritage1. The Ismaili message and its philosophers2. Religious and philosophical resources3. Ismaili predecessorsPart II. Al-Sijistani's Universe4. Introduction: categories of thought and terms of analysis5. A theology of unqualified transcendence6. Creation as command7. Intellect, the sum of existent being8. Descending and ascending soul9. Nature and the physical realm10. A cosmic anthropology11. Prophecy, the deputy of intellect12. Interpretation and its institution13. Salvation and the womb of historyEpilogue: the use and control of reason.