Religious Studies

Islamic Ethics as Educational Discourse

Thought and Impact of the Classical Muslim Thinker Miskawayh (d. 1030)
Edited by Sebastian Günther and Yassir El Jamouhi

[Islamische Ethik als Bildungsdiskurs. Geisteshaltung und Relevanz des klassischen muslimischen Denkers Miskawaih (gest. 1030).]

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Published in English.
This volume offers expert insights into the life and scholarly oeuvre of the classical Muslim philosopher and historian Miskawayh (d. 1030). It fosters a more comprehensive understanding of the educational and ethical reflections – as well as the academic environment and scholarly network – of a thinker who is known in the contemporary Muslim world as the »founder of Islamic ethics.«
This edited volume offers expert insights into core questions of ethics, education, and religion during what is often termed the »Golden Age« of Islamic culture and intellectual history. It focuses on the scholarly oeuvre of the Muslim philosopher and historian Miskawayh (d. 1030), who is known in the contemporary Muslim world as the »founder of Islamic ethics«. Written by internationally renowned scholars in Islamic studies, the chapters trace the significance of ancient Greek, Iranian, and Arabic intellectual traditions, among others, in the Islamic educational discourse. They also show how historical research on concepts of education and ethics specific to religion and culture can help find answers to key issues in contemporary societies.
Survey of contents
Gerhard Endress: Prologue – Miskawayh: Ethics and the Lessons of History – Sebastian Günther/Yassir El Jamouhi: Einführung – Der Moralphilosoph und Historiker Miskawaih: Traditionsbindung und Neubestimmung im Bildungsdiskurs des Islams

I. Setting the Stage: Miskawayh's Educational Ethics
Wadad Kadi: Miskawayh: The Uneasy Co-Existence of the Philosopher and the Historian? – Steffen Stelzer: Où est le Bonheur? Searching for Miskawayh

II. Miskawayh's Reception and Transformation of Ideas from Greek Antiquity
Hans Daiber: Ethics as Likeness to God in Miskawayh: An Overlooked Tradition – Yassir El Jamouhi: Diversität und Bildungsdiskurs im klassischen Islam: Miskawaihs Rezeption von Brysons OikonomikosElvira Wakelnig: Late Antique Philosophical Education, Miskawayh, and Paul the Persian: On the Division and the Ranks of Philosophy – Dorothee Pielow: Lehrhafte sprachliche Bilder der Antike für die dreigeteilte Seele bei Miskawaih und Ibn Sīnā

III. Miskawayh's Familiarity with Muslim and Non-Muslim Ideas
Christian Mauder: Between Religious Pluralism and Confessional Identity: The Ethical Writings of Miskawayh's Teacher Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (d. 363/974) – Ute Pietruschka: The Tahdhīb al-akhlāq Attributed to Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī: The Early Manuscript Tradition Revisited – Maxim Yosefi: The Quest for Divine Guidance as Intercultural Educational Discourse: An Inquiry into Saadia Gaon's and Miskawayh's Ethics – Mahmoud Haggag: Zur Rezeption von Koran und Scharia in Miskawaihs Bildungsdiskurs: Eine Studie anhand des Werkes al-Hawāmil wa-š-šawāmil

IV. Miskawayh's Literary Strategies in Promoting Human Development
Lutz Richter-Bernburg: Miskawayh's (Re-)Framing of Wisdom as Perennial and Universal in Jāwīdhān KhiradhAli Rida K. Rizek: »An Art That is Learned and Acquired«: Human Happiness in Miskawayh's Tartīb al-saʿādāt

V. Miskawayh's Significance for Later Intellectual Discourses
Sophia Vasalou: Virtue and the Law in al-Ghazālī's Ethics – Kaouther Karoui: The Theory of Justice between the Humanism of the Classical Muslim Thinker Miskawayh and the Contemporary Thought Project of Mohammed Arkoun – Ruth Mas: What, to the Modern, is Miskawayh? An Epilogue

Sebastian Günther Born 1961; 1981–86 pursued Arabic and Islamic studies; 1989 PhD; 1997 Assistant Professor and 2003 Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Toronto; since 2007 Professor and Chais of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Göttingen.

Yassir El Jamouhi Born 1985; pursued German, Arabic and French studies; 2015 PhD; currently postdoctoral researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre 1136 »Education and Religion« at the University of Göttingen.


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