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An Introduction Islamic Cosmological Doctrines

An Introduction Islamic Cosmological Doctrines

Conceptions of nature and methods used for its study by the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’, al-Bīrūnī, and ibn Sīnā

Autore/i: Nasr Seyyed Hossein

Editore: Thames and Hudson Ltd

revised edition, preface by H. A. R. Gibb, preface and introduction by the author.

pp. XXIII-318, London (Great Britain)

Twenty-three years ago, when Dr Nasr first began this detailed study of the Islamic conception of the cosmos, Western science had apparently relegated traditional cosmology to the status of mere superstition and fantasy. Since then the monolithic structure of modern thought, with all its claims to exclusiveness, has been severely questioned, and many works have been devoted to the traditional cosmologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, the Kabbala and Taoism. Despite the extraordinary growth of interest in Sufism and Islamic philosophy in the West, however, no new general study of Islamic cosmology has been produced since Dr Nasr’s pioneering work was first published in 1964. A variety of modifications and corrections, together with an extensive supplementary bibliography, were included in the revised edition, which is now published for the first time in paperback. Dr Nasr concentrates on the particularly formative period of the 4th Hijra (eleventh century AD) and on its leading figures, the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’ (Brethren of Purity), al-Bīrūnī and Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), but his primary purpose has been to analyse the structure and contours of the various cosmological schemes as permanent aspects of Islamic thought. Original Arabic and Persian texts unknown or little studied in the West indicate that, while some elements of Islamic cosmology were drawn from Alexandrian and other sources, it became fully integrated within the Islamic worldview in uniformity with the principles of Islamic revelation.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr is a distinguished scholar and the author of many books, including Man and Nature, The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man (1976) and Islamic Science – An Illustrated Study (1976).

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