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Shah, Mustafa (2015) 'Kalām: rational expressions of medieval theological thought.' Encyclopedia of Mediterranean Humanism [ Encyclopédie de l’humanisme méditerranéen]. pp. 1-49.

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The discipline of kalām encompasses not only the rational exposition of religious doctrine and dogma, but it also extends to a panoply of subsidiary topics and genres, many of which were deemed relevant to the theoretical and conceptual resolution of doctrine and dogma. A key element of kalām discourses resides in their resort to dialectical strategies and rational frameworks which are used to explicate theological doctrine and interrelated constructs. Initially, the term kalām may have been exclusively used to exemplify the technique of using dialogues to flesh out theological propositions and postulates, whereby through a sequence of questions and corresponding answers, logical contradictions were identified in an opponent’s doctrines. However, over subsequent centuries such techniques were just one aspect of the schema of kalām, which came to represent the discipline of rational theology in a much more comprehensive sense. In this essay an attempt will be made to introduce some of the broad characteristics of the kalām discourses and the individuals and movements who contributed to them, locating their place within the framework of classical Islamic scholarship.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISSN: 26082292
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2015 08:55

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