Neoplatonism and Islamic Thought
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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.