Islamic Philosophy A-Z By Peter S. Groff with Oliver Leaman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. 237 pages.)

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Noga Hartmann



Understanding Islamic philosophy, an indispensable formative link in the
chain of medieval thought, is crucial to grasping the intertwined development
of philosophical ideas both within and without the Islamic sphere during
the period under discussion. Peter Groff and Oliver Leaman’s text
belongs to the discipline of the philosophical and theological analysis of
Islam. It is an attempt to shed some light on the essential, mainly Islamic
contribution to the philosophical thought of the Middle Ages. This work
intends to offer “the vital insights and resources of the Islamic philosophical
tradition” (p. xi) as a main influence upon medieval philosophic thought in
different religions (Judaism and Christianity) and cultures (India).
Furthermore, he rightfully refers to Islamic philosophy as a transmitter of the
classical Greek legacy.
This concise work contains brief entries (alphabetically ordered), key
terms, bold marked cross-references to related terms for easy access, and
major figures in the rich heritage of Greek, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
philosophy. Each brief entry is written in a very comprehensible style and
covers the main relevant ideas related to the theme being discussed. Since
religion has always played a decisive role in the development of Islamic
thought and was never separated from the state, it is also present in varying
degrees in nearly all of the entries. Consequently, this work provides information
on the development of Islamic belief. The bibliographical references
for further reading at the end of each entry are very helpful, though mostly
laconic. Key concepts or terms are given in a simplifiedArabic transcription
that differs from the standard one ...

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