Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft

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Lehrveranstaltungen Sommersemester 2017


Anatomies of Rationality: Aristotle, Averroes, and Aquinas on the Unity of the Human Intellect

Fr. 10:00 bis 12:00 c.t. woch 28.04.2017 bis 28.07.2017 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (E) - E 212

Thomas Aquinas’s tract on the uniqueness of the intellect (De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas) marked a turning point in the history of Western civilization. With unprecedented alarm it denounced the breakdown that occurred, towards the end of the thirteenth century, in the ideal of a basic harmony between secular and religious teaching as pursued in Scholasticism. Christian religion taught that human souls are immortal and destined for an afterlife of reward or punishment. The evidence of rational investigation contradicted the thesis of personal immortality. The seminar focuses on this historic debate through a close scrutiny of Aquinas’s work and his defense of the immortality thesis. Concurrently it illuminates the philosophical background constituted by Aristotle’s psychology and its interpretation in the Islamic tradition, particularly the philosophy of Averroes.

Knowledge of English

term paper [9 ECTS-points]


(LSF) pre-registration is not necessary

 Materialien: Anatomies of Rationality - Course Packet.pdf;

Seminar und Lektürekurs

Reason in Islam

Fr. 12:00 bis 14:00 c.t. woch 28.04.2017 bis 28.07.2017 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (B) - B 011

The seminar is a comprehensive survey of major trajectories traversing Islamic intellectual history from its beginnings to the present day. It takes as its vantage point the role played by rational investigation vis-a-vis sacred scripture in the understanding of divine revelation. Doctrinal developments surveyed include the earliest dispute between Kharijites and Murji’ites on works and faith; the flowering of the rival schools of Muʿtazilism and Ashʿarism in the classical period; the conservative stance defended by Hanbalism and Neo-Hanbalism along with its reverberations for present-day fundamentalism and Islamist militancy (jihad); the rival camps of modernism and Islamic reformism from the nineteenth century. All themes of theological and philosophical import are approached through a representative selection of readings from the foundational texts of the Islamic civilization.

zu diesem Seminar wird folgende Übung angeboten: "Classical Islamic Theology: Select Readings from al-Juwaynī’s Kitāb al-Irshād"

Knowledge of English

seminar paper

Anmeldung:Reason in Islam - Course Packet.pdf

Muss zwischen dem 03.04. und dem 18.04.2017 über das LSF-System priorisiert belegt werden.



Übung "Averroes’s Decisive Treatise (Faṣl al-Maqāl)"

Fr. 14:00 bis 16:00 c.t. woch 28.04.2017 bis 28.07.2017 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (E) - E 212

Course Description: By way of a complement to the seminar “Reason in Islam: Introduction to Islamic Theology and Philosophy”, the course features intensive reading of a classic of Islamic thought in the original text: the Decisive Treatise on the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy (Faṣl al-maqāl fī-mā bayna l-šarīʿa wa-l-falsafa min al-ittiṣāl) by Averroes of Cordoba (d. 1198). The text is a legal opinion establishing the legitimacy of philosophical investigation on Islamic principles. In fact, it even mandates the study of philosophy for all capable Muslims, presenting rational investigation as a distinct religious duty. In this sense the Treatise lays the foundations of an enlightened approach to religion of the kind that is advocated in the context of modern Islamic reformism. The texture of Averroes’s argument will be extracted from a close reading of the original text, attentive to its linguistic construction, and requiring weekly preparation from students with proficiency in Classical Arabic.

Knowledge of English and Classical Arabic (intermediate or advanced)

 Materialien: Decisive Treatise - Course Packet.pdf