Advancing theological and scientific literacy for today’s ʿulamāʾ
1.1.3 Māturīdī, Kitāb al-Tawḥīd
By Sergio Tittarini, “Ornaments of Shah-i-Zinda necropolis in the north-eastern part of Samarkand”
Is it possible to mediate between the truth claims of competing traditions? Can we escape circular reasoning in philosophy and/or theology?
Abridged Summary for Non-Arabic Speakers:
Imam Maturidi is the founder of one of the most influential schools of systematic theology in classical Islamic thought. He begins this theological treatise, entitled Book of Divine Unicity, by asking how it can be possible to mediate between the truth claims of competing traditions. In a move that becomes the foundation for dialectic or philosophical theology in Islam, Maturidi says that appealing to the truth of a tradition by referring to itself results in circular reasoning. The application of circular reasoning is philosophically unsatisfying, which is why one must rely on the independent authority of “reason” (‘aql). The foundations of religion (din), therefore, rest equally on reason and revelation.
The Madrasa Discourses project proposes that a conciliation of traditional Islamic thought with contemporary scientific and philosophical worldviews can result in orthodox affirmations of human dignity essential for peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic world.