Kitab al-dala'il fi ma'rifat al-masa'il of abu sa'id maymun b. Qasim al-Tabarani: Historical and doctrinal aspects

Meir M. Bar-Asher, Aryeh Kofsky

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Abstract

This study presents and analyses the main theological aspects of Kitab al-dala'il fi ma'rifat al-masa'il by Abu Sa'id Maymun b. Qasim al-Tabarani (d. 426/1034-5), one of the outstanding Nusayri religious leaders and a prolific author in the formative period of the Nusayri religion. Kitab al-dala'il seems to be part of al-Tabarani's didactic project of furnishing the new religion with basic treatises of religious guidance. Al-Tabarani's theology appears here already as a mature doctrinal system, attesting to the early development of Nusayri sectarian theology. Many concepts previously familiar from later texts can now be dated to the formative phase of Nusayrism. Despite its catechetical format, Kitab al-dala'il contains elaborate speculative theology, especially regarding the knowledge of the divinity through sight, the manifestation of the deity in its essence, the pronounced stance relating to the incarnation of the deity in human material form and the complex theory of divine condescension.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages15
JournalRivista degli Studi Orientali
Volume86
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2013

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