The Archetypal Sunni Scholar (Hardcover)

Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri

By Aaron Spevack

State University of New York Press, 9781438453712, 212pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

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This is a rare study of a late premodern Islamic thinker, Ibrahim al- Bājūrī, a nineteenth-century scholar and rector of Cairo's al-Azhar University. Aaron Spevack explores al- Bājūrī's legal, theological, and mystical thought, highlighting its originality and vibrancy in relation to the millennium of scholarship that preceded and informed it, and also detailing its continuing legacy. The book makes a case for the normativity of the Gabrielian Paradigm, the study of law, rational theology, and Sufism, in the person of al- Bājūrī. Soon after his death in 1860, this typical pattern of scholarship would face significant challenges from modernists, reformers, and fundamentalists. Spevack challenges beliefs that rational theology, syllogistic logic, and Sufism were not part of the predominant conception of orthodox scholarship and shows this scholarly archetype has not disappeared as an ideal. In addition, the book contests prevailing beliefs in academic and Muslim circles about intellectual decline from the thirteenth through nineteenth centuries.

About the Author

Aaron Spevack is Assistant Professor of Religion at Colgate University. He translated and annotated Ghazali on the Principles of Islamic Spirituality: Selections from The Forty Foundations of Religion--Annotated and Explained.