History of Islamic Philosophy, The Mu’tazilites, by Peter Adamson

Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King’s College London, is the author several books, including The Arabic Plotinus (2002) and Great Medieval Thinkers: al-Kindi (2007) and Philosophy in the Islamic World (2016), and hosts the History of Philosophy podcast (https://www.historyofphilosophy.net/).

The Mu’tazilites
A first look at the philosophical contributions of Islamic theology (kalām) and its political context, focusing on the Mu’tazilites Abū l-Hudhayl and al-Naẓẓām.

Further Reading

P. Adamson, “Arabic Philosophy and Theology Before Avicenna,” in J. Marenbon (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy (Oxford: 2012), 58-82.

R.M. Frank, Early Islamic Theology: The Muʿtazilites and al-Ashʿarī (Aldershot: 2007).

G.F. Hourani, Islamic rationalism: the Ethics of ʻAbd al-Jabbār (Oxford: 1971).

W. Madelung, The Origins of the Controversy Concerning the Creation of the Koran. Orientalia Hispanica vol.1, ed. J.M. Barral, (Leiden: 1974), 504-25.

J. van Ess, Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra: eine Geschichte des religiösen Denkens im frühen Islam (Berlin: 1991-95).

J. van Ess, The Flowering of Muslim Theology, trans. J.M. Todd (Cambridge MA: 2006).

T. Winter, The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (Cambridge: 2008).


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