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Shihadeh, Ayman (2019) 'Avicenna’s Theodicy and al-Rāzī’s Anti-Theodicy.' Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, 7 (1). pp. 61-84.

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Abstract

Avicenna’s Neoplatonic account of divine providence and theodicy was hugely influential on later philosophical and religious thought in the Islamic world. However, it was severely criticised by one of his earlier commentators, the theologian-philosopher Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210). While Avicenna champions an optimist theodicean thesis of a plenitude of good to support the theory of providence integrated into his cosmogony, his commentator counters by arguing for a plenitude of evil and an overall pessimist anti-theodicy. Rejecting Avicenna’s ontological-cum-cosmological account of evil, al-Rāzī argues that a theodicy must be strictly subject-centred and is ultimately a futile exercise. This article includes a study and translation of the relevant section in his commentary on Avicenna’s al-Išārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt (Pointers and Reminders).

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī; Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā); Šarḥ al-Išārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt (Commentary on the Pointers and Reminders); Neoplatonism; theodicy; anti-theodicy; providence; problem of evil; pessimism; pain
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
ISSN: 22129421
Copyright Statement: © Ayman Shihadeh 2018. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the prevailing CC-BY-NC license at the time of publication https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1163/2212943X-00701004
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 09:11
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24097

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