Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies
Online ISSN : 2433-1872
Print ISSN : 0913-7858
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  • An Aspect of the Philosophical Theology of Islam at the Beginning of the Thirteenth Century
    Hisashi OBUCHI
    Type: Article
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 1-33
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Modern scholars emphasize the influence of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna, d. 1037) on Islamic philosophical theology, but Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 1210), one of its contributors, acquainted himself not only with the philosophies of Ibn Sīnā and Abū al-Barakāt al-Baghdādī (d. 1152) but also with so-called occult sciences such as astrology, magic, and theurgy. The previous studies of his theology paid little attention to those esoteric sciences even though they had been regarded as natural scientific philosophy. As a part of the study of Islamic philosophical theology at the beginning of the thirteenth century, this paper examines the extent that this philosophy including occult sciences was absorbed into al-Rāzī’s theology. Following the introduction (I), section II analyzes the “philosophy” insofar as he perceives it, by reading his theological treatises in chronological order. As is well-known, al-Rāzī criticizes the “philosophers,” whom al-Shahrastānī (d. 1153) actually described in al-Milal wa-l-niḥal as the Sabian “adherents of spiritual beings.” I point out that, in his latest theological work al-Maṭālib al-‘āliya min ‘ilm al-ilāhī, al-Rāzī adopts the cosmlogy of those “adherents of spiritual beings,” who reportedly believed the authority of the mythical figure Hermes and practiced what we call occult sciences like celestial magic. Section III, then, questions the origin of the adherents of spiritual beings. Recent studies have revealed that Hermes, who has been associated with the Sabians, began to be integrated into the Islamic context from the twelfth century onward as al-Shahrastānī did. Al-Rāzī also lived in the era of the synthesis of Arabic Hermeticism and Islamic thoughts, and I point out that he admits that the “philosophers” have an esoteric and mythical origin. In the final section (IV), I will show that al-Rāzī did accept not only the “philosophers” but also the occult sciences into his theology in al-Maṭālib. As a result, he adopts the cosmology of the Universal Soul, which utilizes the concept of “trace” (athar) instead of “emanation” (fayḍ), and he uses “species” (naw‘) to distinguish between human beings. He differs from Ibn Sīnā in these points, yet he keeps the structure and concepts of Ibn Sīnā to some extent. We can say that he imports occult science into his theology as an alternative to Avicennan philosophy, regarding it as “philosophy.”
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  • Framing through the Idea of Translation
    Satoshi ABE
    Type: Article
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 35-62
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, Iran has pursued economic development mainly by concentrating its efforts on expanding the industrial sectors. A series of development projects, however, left the country with some serious consequences: issues of environmental pollution. With environmental problems significantly exacerbating their way of life, Iranians have become conscious of these problems and are now searching for ways to resolve them. Those involved include not just environmental scientists but also self-taught citizens, journalists, and religious leaders, among others. The environment, as a result, has become the junction of emerging diverse fields as various environmental discourses are being debated and produced, and are developing in ways that reflect cultural politics in Iran. Most prominently, the expansion of scientific schemes in the field of environment has helped foster the material concept of the environment among many Tehrani urbanites; for them, the environment is increasingly understood to be something scientifically calculable and manageable. Yet, the analyses of cultural politics in Iran also reveal distinctive cultural dimensions of environmentalism that crucially define contemporary Iran: namely, those of nationalistic sentiments and Islamic hermeneutics. However incompatible they might seem, these discourses and practices of the environment are continuingly interacting and are interrelated with one another. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Tehran, this article explores a variety of ways in which this emerging field is problematized by various individuals and institutions, thereby producing particular knowledges and practices concerning the environment in the Iranian context.
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  • Yuta SAGARA
    Type: Research Note
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 63-89
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The ḥadīth qudsī, which reports God’s sayings in the first person through Prophet Muhammad, is said to be in deep relationship with the formation of Islamic mystical thoughts. Ibn ‘Arabī (d. 1240), the greatest mystic of Islam, often cites the ḥadīth qudsī as stating “My earth and heaven do not contain Me, but My faithful servant’s heart contains Me,” and tells that the heart of the mystic contains the God. Previous studies of this doctrine have not directed enough attention to his interpretation of this divine saying. I clarify the relationship of this doctrine to his famous theory of “self-disclosure of God” (tajallī) and “perfect man” (insān kāmil) based on the investigation into his interpretation of this ḥadīth in his magnum opus, al-Futūḥāt al-Makkīya. According to Ibn ‘Arabī, this ḥadīth means that the heart of a perfect man, the knot between God and the cosmos, contains the whole cosmos as God’s self-disclosure. In this interpretation, the concept of the heart, which belongs to the doctrine of the human soul, is tightly connected to the ontological and metaphysical doctrine in his system. This connection is not seen in the previous Sufi thought and appears to be one aspect of his historical role in constructing Islamic mystical philosophy.
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  • Using the 2004 Census in Jordan
    Haruka USUKI
    Type: Research Note
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 91-112
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This research note considers migration to Jordan by analyzing data obtained from the 2004 census with a focus on Amman Governorate, specifically investigating the birthplace and socioeconomic features of the residences of non-Jordanians in Amman Governorate. This paper provides an initial outline of the 2004 population census data and an explanation of the population and geology of Amman Governorate. The next section focuses on a regional categorization of Amman Governorate using basic socioeconomic indicators (educational level, economic activity status, employment status, economic activity, and work sector). The regional categorization is made via cluster analysis, which was conducted based on the scores obtained from factor analysis. The final section examines the birthplace of residents from outside Jordan according to the clusters indicated in the previous section. To conclude, people from abroad have predominately flowed into two different types of locations. The first is the center of Amman Governorate, which is educationally and economically advanced. The second location, which is remote from the center, is an agricultural and waged-labor zone with a high percentage of residents from foreign countries, especially Egypt.
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  • Ryuichi SUGIYAMA
    Type: Book Review
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 113-117
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
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  • Emi KODAMA
    Type: Book Review
    2018 Volume 34 Issue 1 Pages 119-122
    Published: July 15, 2018
    Released: October 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
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