This is the third of three volumes reprinting the collected papers on Islamic subjects by Richard M. Frank, Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of America, and completes the set. The present volume on the Ash`arites and the classical Ash`arite tradition brings together articles written in the last two decades of Richard Frank's scholarly activity which represent his mature thought on the main philosophical and doctrinal elements of that tradition. The volume opens with two more general studies, one on the science of kalam, presenting Frank's most profound insights on its very nature and essence, followed by a series of detailed and incisive analyses of the physics, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology of the Ash`arite system. This body of work forms the vanguard of modern studies on the subject and will repay repeated and prolonged study.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword; Hearing and saying what was said; The science of Kalam; Moral obligation in classical Muslim theology; Can God do what is wrong?; Attribute, attribution, and being: three Islamic views; Two Islamic views of human agency; Knowledge and taqlid, the foundation of religious belief in classical Ash'arism; The non-existent and the possible in classical Ash'arite teaching; The Ash'arite ontology I: primary entities; Bodies and atoms: the Ash'arite analysis; Al-Ahkam in classical Ash'arite teaching; Notes and remarks on the Taba'i in the teaching of al-Maturidi; The autonomy of the human agent in the teaching of 'Abd al-Gabbar; Al-Ustadh Abu Ishak: an 'Akida together with selected fragments; Index.
’When we today claim to have some sense of the terminology of early kalam, it is because Richard M. Frank analysed it and taught it to us. His works are fundamental for anyone working with kalam literature. It is fitting that his papers have been collected... this volume is well suited for students of Islamic theology, even the beginners among them.’ Journal of Islamic Studies ’[These studies] are among the most significant resources for the study and understanding of medieval Islamic theology... Dimitri Gutas is to be congratulated for the entire project.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies