Neoplatonism and Islamic Thought

Edited by Parviz Morewedge

Subjects: Neoplatonism
Series: Studies in Neoplatonism: Ancient and Modern, Volume 5
Paperback : 9780791413364, 267 pages, July 1992
Hardcover : 9780791413357, 267 pages, July 1992

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Table of contents

R. Baine Harris

Parviz Morewedge

I. The Context of Islamic Neoplatonism

A Critical Analysis of the Structure of the Kalam fi mahd al-khair (Liber de causis)
Richard C. Taylor

Appendix 1
Appendix 2

The Relevance of Avicennian Neoplatonism
Joseph Owens, C. Ss. R.

The Neoplatonic Structure of Some Islamic Mystical Doctrines
Parviz Morewedge

II. Neoplatonism and Islamic Philosophy

Quiddity and Universality in Avicenna
Michael E. Marmura

Self-Knowing in Plato, Plotinus, and Avicenna
Laura Westra

Al-Razi and al-Tusi on Ibn Sina's Theory of Emanation
Nicholas Heer

Al-Farabi , Emanation, and Metaphysics
Therese-Anne Druart

The Universal Soul and the Particular Soul in Ismac ili Neoplatonism
Paul E. Walker

The Transformation of Spiritual Substance into Bodily Substance in Ismac ili Neoplatonism
Mohamed A. Alibhai

The Circle of Spiritual Ascent According to Al-Qunawi
William C. Chittick

The Return to "The One" in the Philosophy of Najm Al-Din Al-Kubra
David Martin

Revelation and "Natural" Knowledge of God
Vincent Potter



This book explores, through their Neoplatonism, the philosophies of four cultures: North African, Moorish Spanish, Greek, and Islamic. Originating in North Africa, Neoplatonism became the framework for philosophical reflection in these diverse cultural settings. Neoplatonic themes like emanationism are found in all of them, despite the difficulty of reconciling such philosophical ideas with religious orthodoxy.

The wide appeal of Neoplatonism, perhaps, is due to its development of the mystical dimension of Platonism. From this perspective, this volume presents eternally recurring Neoplatonic themes like the monistic vision of the entire universe descending from a single principle, and a potentiality of a mystical ascent— a return to the origin.

In addition, this book investigates the questions of self knowledge, the relation between the universal and the particular soul, and the transformation of spiritual substance into bodily substance in these cultures. These studies offer a rich and varied perspective of these cultures themselves, revealing the spirit of each in its adaptation to Neoplatonism.

Parviz Morewedge is Professor of Philosophy at Baruch College of City University of New York. He is Secretary-Treasurer of The Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy of Science, Co-editor of The Journal of Neoplatonic Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of the Islamic Philosophy Translation Series. He has written several books including Islamic Philosophical Theology , also published by SUNY Press.