Senior Fellow: April–September 2018
Research Project: Scepticism in Islamic Theological Manuals of the Ash’ari School
Heidrun Eichner’s project investigates the presence of elements of sceptical thought in the context of Islamic religious thinking. The focus is on the Ash’ari theological school, more precisely on how authors of systematic theological treatises rework the material at their disposal and on how their individual approaches shape Ash’arism into a system which has a dynamic historical development. Emphasis will be placed on identifying how specific elements that may be labelled as “sceptic” operate within the context of the system of Ash’ari theology and how they are modified in the course of doing so. This includes the context of classical scholastic manuals written by Muslim theologians between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, e.g. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Bayḍāwī, and ʿAḍud al-Dīn al-Īǧī. Topics traced and investigated will include the four types of a generic denial of a source of knowledge which were first discussed by S. Horvitz, and how authors deal with the claim that “it is the first obligation of a believer to have doubts about God.” In addition, she will work on an annotated translation of ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Baghdādī’s “Chapter on Knowledge” from his K. al-Uṣūl.
Heidrun Eichner holds a chair of Islamic studies at the Universität Tübingen.
Further information will follow soon.