185 - Follow the Leader: Philosophy under the Safavids

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Philosophy in Safavid Iran, and a look back at earlier philosophy among Shiites.



Further Reading

• H. Corbin, En Islam Iranien (Paris: 1972).

• G. Endress, “Philosophische Ein-Band-Bibliotheken aus Isfahan,” Oriens 36 (2001), 10-58.

• R. Mathee, The Safavid World (London: 2021).

• R. Pourjavady, Philosophy in Early Safavid Iran: Najm al-Dīn Mamūd al-Nayrīzī and his Writings (Leiden: 2011).

• F. Rahman, “Mir Damad’s Concept of Ḥudūth Dahrī: a Contribution to the Study of God-World Relationship in Safavid Iran,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 39 (1980), 139-51.

• S.H. Rizvi, “Between Time and Eternity: Mīr Damād on God’s Creative Agency,” Journal of Islamic Studies 17 (2006), 158-76.

• S.H. Rizvi, “(Neo)Platonism Revived in the Light of the Imams: Qāḍī Saʿīd Qummī (d. AH 1107/AD 1696) and his Reception of the Theologia Aristotelis,” in P. Adamson (ed.), Classical Arabic Philosophy: Sources and Reception (London: 2007), 176-207.

• S. Schmitdke, The Theology of al-ʿAllāma al-illī (d.726/1325) (Berlin: 1991).


Hoom on 9 December 2016

Southeast Asia?

The division of Islamic world in this era into three realms, Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires overlook another region: Southeastern Asia (the modern day Indonesia & Malaysia), where Islam also spread, and whose population might be close to those empires. For example, Aceh, Malacca, and Mataram sultanates might be considered contemporary to those three empires.

What makes this region excluded?  Is it because there was not much philosophy going on? But this podcast is ostensibly without any gaps, not ignoring even the less well-known ones :) Or is it other factors, e.g. size not significant enough, lack of unity, lack of relationship with the rest of the Islamic world?

In reply to by Hoom

Peter Adamson on 9 December 2016

SE Asia

I think in the last Islamic episode I sort of apologized for not covering southeast Asia - basically the reason is that I gave only sketchy coverage of the 20th century Islamic world in general. It would have taken lots more episodes to cover that properly!

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Hoom on 13 December 2016

not only 20th century

But Islam wasn't only in SE Asia in the 20th century - Muslim states were around from as early as the time frame of this episode. Aceh, Malacca, and various Javanese sultanates were founded in 15th century, even before Safavid empires. [see Wikipedia : Spread of Islam in Indonesia]

 Anyway, I understand that we won't retroactively get episodes on this topic :) Do you happen to know any good writer who wrote or writes on Islamic philosophy in SE Asia?

In reply to by Hoom

Peter Adamson on 13 December 2016

SE Asia

Carool Kersten at King's College London works on Indonesian thought, albeit in the 20th c. I don't recall ever seeing any research into philosophical literature in these older SE Asian Muslim states, unfortunately. Would be fascinated to learn if there is anything!

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