in the tenth century, Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari started teaching a philosophy that described human acts as created by God is to say without free will behind them. in his paradigm, human reason was incapable of determining pretty much anything… even right and wrong could only be understood by divine revelation. two major effects:
1. as a result of his teachings, fiqh (islamic jursiprudence) began the shift from ijtihad (in this context, read "innovation") to taqlid (in this context, read "stagnation".) predictably, work in the sciences slowed and stopped.
2. eventually, al-Ash’ari’s ideas became the groundwork for the philosophy of ibn Tamiyah, who did his best to bring Islam "back" to it’s original sources and in doing so laid the groundwork for Wahhabism.
what’s interesting to me:
(DISCLAIMER: i was raised in a buddhist household, and so my understanding of judeo-christian religion suffers—or gains, if you like—from an outsider’s perspective.) it’s always seemed to me like the asharites and the folks pushing humanism and devotionalism in the sixteenth century would have got along pretty well…
anyone else want to run with that?
sorry this is choppy. n
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