Freethinkers of Medieval Islam: Ibn Al-Rawāndī, Abū Bakr Al-Rāzī and Their Impact on Islamic Thought, by Sarah Stroumsa
Sarah Stroumsa, Freethinkers of Medieval Islam: Ibn Al-Rawāndī, Abū Bakr Al-Rāzī and Their Impact on Islamic Thought, Brill, 1999.
This book endeavors to identify and define the phenomenon of freethinking in medieval Islam, in particular as exemplified in the figures of the two most notorious intellectual heretics, Ibn al-R?wand? (9th C.) and Ab? Bakr al-R?z? (10th C.). The development of Islamic freethinking is analyzed on the background of the paramount importance of prophetology in Islam. The book examines the image of the freethinkers in Islam and its connection to the legacy of late antiquity, and to the traditions about Indian and Sabian religions. The last chapters examine repercussions of his phenomenon in various aspects of Muslim, Jewish and Christian medieval thought. It is argued that, despite its rare occurrence, freethinking was in fact a pivotal Islamic phenomenon, which had a major impact on the development of Islamic thought.
Sarah Stroumsa is the Alice and Jack Ormut Professor Emerita of Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also the author of Maimonides in his World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker (Princeton: Princeton University, 2010; Paperback edition 2012) and Dāwūd al-Muqammaṣ, Twenty Chapters (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2016).