The Egyptian scholar Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1905), the Islamic world's most famous early-modernist thinker, is best known for his writings on Islamic educational and social-political reform. Up to now, the only one of ‘Abduh's works of analytical theology to have received any sustained attention is his introductory-level Essay on Divine Unity (Risalat al-Tawhid). By contrast, a much longer (300+ pages), denser and more analytically sophisticated theological work by ‘Abduh remains in the shadows: his Supercommentary (Hashiyah) on al-Dawani’s (d. 1501) Commentary (Sharh) on al-Iji’s (d. 1355) Creed (al-‘Aqa’id al-‘Adudiyyah). Despite ‘Abduh’s fame, his Supercommentary has hardly been studied, let alone translated into a European language. And although the Arabic text has been published three times, none of these is a critical edition or contains a detailed accounting of ‘Abduh's wide range of sources from the history of Arabic-Islamic analytic theology, philosophy and logic. This project will correct these major omissions by producing a groundbreaking four-volume work: (1) a historical introduction that discusses in detail all the textual witnesses as well as the intellectual-historical, educational, editorial and publishing contexts in Cairo in the mid- and late-19th and early-20th centuries; (2) a critical edition of the Arabic text (including all the passages being commented upon from both Iji's Creed and Dawani’s Commentary); (3) an English translation; and (4) a philosophical analysis that unpacks each of ‘Abduh’s arguments and theories in turn, and identifies their sources. In addition to its intrinsic scholarly value, the project will have a broader therapeutic impact, by providing the rising generation of Muslim thinkers with an extremely rich source of Arabic conceptual vocabulary and argumentation -- one from only a century ago -- which they can use to raise the scholarly rigor and scientific reputation of contemporary Islamic analytical theology.
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