The Christian and Islamic Response to Averroism


(This essay was written for History 205.3, University of Saskatchewan, 1 April 1999)

In the twelfth century in Muslim Spain, and the next century in Christian Europe, the established religion faced a serious challenge from a new way of thinking.  In both cases, the main thrust of the challenge was the body of work by the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle.  However, the challenge was sharpened because of the interpretations put on Aristotle’s work by the Islamic philosophers and commentators.  Of these, none is more famous that Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), or Averroes, as he is known in the Latin West.  His extensive commentaries were translated and flowed into Christian Europe at the same time that the majority of Aristotle’s work was arriving there for the first time.  As a result, Ibn Rushd’s commentaries often shaped Christian Europe’s understanding of Aristotle.  Rushd’s ideas threatened to rip philosophy from her moorings in the faith (both Christian and Islamic) and change her into an independent challenger of the faith.[1]

This essay will look at the challenge faced by Islam and Christianity, how they responded to the challenge and the results.  Work by Ibn Rushd and his ideological opponent al-Ghazzali will be used as source material for this essay.  Because Christianity at a very early stage, adopted a very syncretic approach towards useful pagan ideas and literature, Christianity did not condemn all speculative philosophical pursuit as the Muslims did.

To properly understand the Islamic context that Averroism came out of, some background information is needed.  In Islam, religion and law are not separate but are one. The two religious sciences of Islam are fiqh, jurisprudence, and kalam, or systematic theology. The Islamic concept of fiqh details the individual’s rights, duties and responsibilities to others humans and to God as outlined by God. In determining fiqh, Islamic scholars use the following sources in order of authority:  1) the Qur’an, 2) Muhammad’s sunna, or patterns of action, and the ahadith, or the oral traditions about Muhammad’s every day life, 3) qiyas, or analogical reasoning from the Qur’an, and 4) ijma’, or consensus.[2] When considering ambiguous or contradictory situations, Muslim scholars were aware that they might impose a personal bias.  The Sunni, or orthodox, tradition of Islam, discounted the possibility of one person being able to speak authoritatively on such matters.  On tradition teaches that Muhammad said, “My community reaches no agreement that is an error.”  Therefore, any interpretations that the Sunni scholars had agreed upon was to be accepted as authoritative.  Further, ijma’ is based upon precedent, so if a group of scholars had dealt with the same issue in the past, that must be used as the basis for one’s future decision.  The use of ijma’ as a source for fiqh makes it a potential dynamic force for change but it also has conservative, even repressive tendencies as well.  In the tenth century, the Sunni Moslems decided, through consensus, that the Islamic fiqh was fixed and no longer open to questioning.[3] This background is important because Ibn Rushd invokes the concept of consensus in defence of the views of the philosophers against the attacks of al-Ghazzali (1058-1111).

Islamic systematic theology arose out of a series of challenges to traditional Islamic thought from Hellenistic Muslim theologians and philosophers.  The first wave took place in the eighth century and was followed by a second, and more sustained, wave in the tenth and eleventh centuries.  During this second wave, Islamic philosophers worked to reconcile Islamic theology with Greek thought.  Drawing upon Aristotelian and Neoplatonic concepts, the Islamic philosophers developed complicated concepts of being.  They posited that the universe was a series of cosmic spheres around the earth emanating from God, each caused by the sphere above.  The last sphere is the sub-lunar sphere within which corruption and change does take place, but all the other spheres are pristine, eternal, unchanging and incorruptible.  Arising from this concept of emanation was the conclusion that the world was eternal.  Since God as the cause of the world is eternal, then the world, as the result, must also be eternal.[4]

Al-Ghazzali, in defence of orthodoxy, sets out to attack the views of the Islamic philosophers.  In discussing the problematic aspects of philosophy, he divides it up into six component parts:  logic, natural science, ethics, politics, mathematics and theology (or metaphysics).  Of the first five, al-Ghazzali says that though the philosophers have made errors, some of which are detrimental to the faith, the whole component should not be condemned because of it.  However, regarding the component of theology, al-Ghazzali is complete in his condemnation.  He charges the philosophers of departing from three important Islamic doctrines:  1) He accuses them of denying a physical resurrection.  2) He accuses them of stating that “God knows universals, but not particulars.”  If this were the case, then God would be unable, for example, to answer petitional prayer or be concerned about the welfare of individuals.  3) He accuses the philosophers of saying that the world is eternal.  On other matters, al-Ghazzali says that the ideas of the philosophers depart from mainstream Islamic thought, but they should not be considered infidels on the basis of these other ideas.[5]

Having outlined his opposition to the Islamic philosophers, al-Ghazzali goes on to call for the cessation of all similar philosophical inquiry.  He reasons that men of weaker intellects are not able to discern truth from falsehood in the work of the philosophers.  They are more likely to believe that the entire teaching of a philosopher is true and accept it all rather than go through it and sort truth from falsity.  The reverse situation is also considered dangerous by al-Ghazzali, for opponents will often reject all of the teaching of a philosopher and not sort falsity from truth.[6] Because of the risk of the acceptance of error by partisans and the rejection of truth by opponents, Al-Ghazzali says, “It is therefore necessary, I maintain, to shut the gate so as to keep the general public from reading the book of the misguided as far as possible.”[7]

al-Ghazzali’s call “to shut the gate” contrasts significantly with the reaction by the church to the introduction of similar ideas in the thirteenth century at the University of Paris.  Whereas al-Ghazzali called for a complete stop to philosophical inquiry, Stephen Tempier, the Bishop of Paris, specifically lists the ideas that are condemned.  It is true that persons who taught or listened to such ideas were also condemned, along with a specific list of books, but there was not a call “to shut the gate” and eliminate all philosophical inquiry.[8]

The reason for Christianity’s marginally, but very significantly, different response lies in the work of the Patristic Fathers. Using the gospel of John, Greek philosophy like Stoicism, and the work of Philo, the leaders of the Patristic Age, such as Athanasius (c. 298-373), use the Greek concept of the Divine Logos to develop their own concept of the Logos that centred upon the person of Jesus Christ.  Based upon the fact the Greek word logos can mean both reason, or word, the early Christian Fathers concluded that the Divine Reason (Logos) of the Greek philosophers, the Word (Logos) of God in John chapter one, and Jesus Christ are all one and the same.  Further, these early Christian philosophers concluded, when God created the world and all that is in it out of nothing through the Logos, His Son, Jesus Christ, he implanted with a small portion of the Logos so that he would have Reason.[9] As a result of this reasoning, apologists such as Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) argue that Christianity, through the Logos, the Son of God, possesses the truth.  Whatever truth non-Christian philosophers, poets and prose writers know, they know through the use of the divine Logos.  However, whatever truth they know is incomplete, for they only possess the “seed” of the Logos.  Christians, on the other hand, know the truth more fully, for they know, love and worship the revealed Logos, Jesus Christ.[10]

Augustine (354-430) makes further use of this idea that Christians are the rightful owners of the truth to lay out what he believes is the correct approach in a Christian education.  Augustine supports the prudent use of pagan literature and music within Christian education, saying,

We ought not to give up music because of the superstition of the heathen,….  We ought not to refuse to learn letters because they say that Mercury discovered them; nor because they have dedicated temples to Justice and Virtue,…. ought we on that account to forsake justice and virtue.  Nay, but let every good and true Christian understand that whatever truth may be found, it belongs to his Master; and while he recognizes and acknowledges the truth, even in their religious literature, let him reject the figments of a superstition.[11]

Though use of pagan sources of truth is permitted, Augustine makes it clear that they should not be valued in and of themselves.  He emphasises that no man is wise unless he gives credit to God as the source of all truth.[12]

The Augustinian model of education, using pagan literature to come to a deeper understanding of the wisdom in the Christian Scriptures, was the model used by the cathedral schools of the twelfth century and the early universities of the late 1100’s and early 1200’s.  The seven liberal arts (dialectic, rhetoric and grammar in the trivium, and music, astronomy, geometry and arithmetic in the quadrivium) along with other subjects such as geography, geology, botany and mechanical arts all became part of the faculties of arts in the thirteenth century universities.  The faculty of arts at a medieval university was a preparatory education for the higher sciences of law, medicine and, most notably, theology.[13] Because Christianity had a long and sustained history of taking pagan ideas and co-opting them for its own purposes, and it did not reject all pagan philosophy and pagan philosophical ideas.  Instead, it rejected only the specific ideas which were considered heretical.[14]

The situation is quite different in the Islamic world.  The bounds within a Muslim may act are clearly defined in the fiqh.  As mentioned above, in the Sunni tradition, which the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258) adhered to, the fiqh was declared closed in the tenth century.  Against such a rigid system, any pagan elements are only tenuously tolerated and never incorporated into mainstream Moslem thought.  Any individual who is pushing the bounds of orthodoxy must rely upon the goodwill of the local sultan.  If the conservative orthodox party ever convinces the sultan of the rightness of their cause, the so-called heretic and their entire life’s work can easily be banished.[15]

Ab­u al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd was born in Cordoba in 1126, and received a traditional education in Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] and theology [kalam]  as well as philosophy, medicine, literature and rhetoric.[16] He was introduced by Ibn Tufayl to the Almohad Sultan, Abu Ya’qub Yusuf, in 1153.  The Sultan was looking for someone to create a commentary on Aristotle and Ibn Rushd was charged with the task.[17]

In “Averroes on the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy,” Ibn Rushd explains that the concept that the world is eternal does not contradict Islamic thought.  He believes that the whole world is of a class of being that “is not made from anything and not preceded by time, but which is brought into existence by something, i.e. by an agent.”[18] He argues that his position is not much different than that of the creationists for he, like them, believes that the world was not pre-eternal, that is, that it did not exist before time.  He also believes, like them, that the world has a cause.  He believes that the world came into being at the beginning of time but, where he markedly differs from the creationist, he, like Aristotle, believes that past time, like future time, is infinite.  With this only difference, he believes that his position is not that much different from the creationists.[19]

Ibn Rushd also defends the philosophers against the charge that they believe that God does not know particulars.  He response states that God knows particulars in a way that we can never know for we only know objects in terms of effects, that is, the object that we sense is only the effect from a cause.  God on the other hand, knows the object as its cause.  These two types of knowledge are separate and distinct and cannot be classified together.  In the same way, God knows universals as their cause, while we merely know universals in terms of their effects.  Furthermore, it can be shown that God does act in relation to individuals (which are particulars) by the fact that God gives divine messages to individual people in the form of dreams.  Ibn Rushd concludes his defence of this doctrine by saying, “Thus the conclusion to which demonstration leads is that His Knowledge transcends qualification as ‘universal’ or ‘particular.’  Consequently there is no point in disputing about this question.”[20]

Ibn Rushd is perhaps best known for his doctrine of the intellect.  In the interests of accuracy and clarity a quotation from Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh is used to describe the doctrine:

Like earlier Muslims, he [Ibn Rushd (Averroes)] tried to give precision to the various intellects of which Aristotle had spoken in his De Anima or which the commentators had found implied in Aristotle’s words.  Averroes [Ibn Rushd] agreed with other Muslims in identifying the Agent Intellect, required as an efficient cause for thinking, with the lowest of the intelligences, namely that which governs the sublunar sphere…  But in describing the passive or material intellect he formulated a doctrine of his own…. Averroes [Ibn Rushd] held that the passive intellect, like any intellectual principle, must be immaterial and universal, that is, it must be common to all men…. It follows from Averroes’ description that when the passive intellect becomes actualized, it remains one for all men and that immortality, therefore, is general, not particular.  Knowledge becomes particular through phantasms which accompany it in the imagination of everyone who knows.[21]

It is this doctrine of a universal intellect that is generally condemned by Christian sources as counter to the concept of individual immortality, or individual resurrection.[22] However, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam maintains that this is nothing different than the common “Neoplatonic concept that true knowledge consists in the identity of the knower with the known.”[23] Though it became an infamous philosophical concept, it is commonly known and held in Sufism, Islamic mysticism.[24]

In “Averroes on the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy,” Ibn Rushd defends the pursuit of speculative philosophy, saying that it is allowed within Islam and that the conclusions reached by the philosophers are within the bounds of Islamic orthodoxy.  Rushd  seeks to formalise such inquiry within the realm of Islam by lobbying for what is essentially a reopening of the fiqh.  He states that in areas where the unanimity (ijma) of the Moslem scholars was arrived at by using analogy or opinion for premises, or results in a symbolic answer, or the method was questionable, then the conclusion reached is not certain.  In such cases, the philosophers have a duty to use the demonstrative method to determine the true interpretation of Scripture.[25] Further, Rushd states that religious truth and demonstrative truth do not conflict with each other.  If there is a seeming conflict, then it is permissible within Islam to use an allegorical interpretation of  Scripture to reconcile the two.[26]

Ibn Rushd cautions that allegorical interpretation should be the domain of only the intellectual elite.  He classifies people into three groups:  1)  The rhetorical class – These people have the ability to use the rhetorical method, but they must not be given the opportunity to do any interpreting of the Scriptures.  Most of the people are in this category.  2)  The dialectical class – These people are dialecticians by nature, or by habit and nature.  3)  The demonstrative class – These people are certain of their interpretation and become part of this class by nature and training (philosophy).  He goes on to say that allegorical interpretations should not be shared by the demonstrative class with the dialectical class or the rhetorical class.  For the allegorical interpretation requires the rejection of the literal interpretation and acceptance of the allegorical interpretation.  If the first happens without the latter then the result is unbelief.[27]

In the late twelfth century, the advancing Christian armies caused a change of fortune for Ibn Rushd.  In 1190, the Portuguese succeeded in taking Silves and they were threatening to take Seville.  The Sultan, in response, declares a holy war against the Christians and wins a major victory against allied Christian forces at Alarcos near Badajoz in 1195.  However, in order to gain the support of the religious conservatives, the Sultan cut his ties with several individuals, including Ibn Rushd, who was exiled to the small town of Lucena, south of Cordoba.  Prominent supporters of his in Seville immediately began campaigning for his reinstatement.  Two or three years later he was reinstated to the Sultan’s court in Marrakesh where he died in 1198.[28]

Through the work of various translators working from Greek[29] and Arabic texts, the whole body of Aristotle’s work was made available in the Latin West by 1150.  Prior to the twelfth century, the only portion of Aristotle’s work that was available was the “old logic.”  These were Boethius’ translations of, introductions to and commentaries on Aristotle’s Categories and On Interpretation.  Boethius had translated other works of Aristotle but these had either been lost or ignored.[30] Perhaps just as significant as the translations of Aristotle’s texts were the body of commentaries that flowed into the Latin West from the Muslim territory on the Iberian peninsula.[31] As Aristotle’s metaphysical philosophy and the associated commentaries were made available, they began to have a profound effect upon Western religious thought.  All in all, some scholars were amazed at Aristotle’s brilliance while others were shaken by the seeming incompatibility of some of his teachings with Christianity.[32]

Reaction was not long in coming.  Reading Aristotle’s ‘natural philosophy’ in Paris was forbidden by the Provincial Court of Sens in 1210, and in 1215, by papal legate Robert de Courçon.  In 1231, Pope Gregory IX appointed a commission to make corrections to the prohibited books.  However, one of the members of the commission died soon after it was called and, as a result, the commission never met.  Pope Gregory’s action in appointing the commission was seen by many as an admission that Aristotle’s work was only partly incorrect. Bit by bit, the ban was ignored and by 1255 all of Aristotle’s work was prescribed material at the University of Paris.[33] Within ten years, there were faculty members at the University of Paris, led by Siger of Brabant, that were teaching Aristotelian doctrine that ran counter to Christian doctrines.[34] These Latin Averroists began to pursue philosophical inquiry quite without any regard for the teachings of the church.  As secular philosophers they were teaching doctrines such as the unity of the passive intellect, the eternity of the world, determinism, the non-existence of human free will and collective immortality, even though these doctrines clearly contravened church doctrine.[35]

The impact of Aristotelian thought had a profound effect on Christian philosophers, both the orthodox and the heterodox.  For example, Aristotle had taught that the soul was not an ordinary material form for matter was not necessary for thought and, also, ordinary material does not persist after death.[36] Boethius of Dacia, believed that the souls was a material form of a very weak substance that must cease to exist if it stops informing its body.  Boethius of Dacia did leave the door open slightly to allow for the possibility of the soul surviving death, but he did not clarify how this could happen.  Aquinas provided an explanation for a soul surviving after death by saying that it would survive but would be incomplete without matter.  Siger of Brabant and Boethius of Dacia disregarded Aquinas’ concept.[37]

Regarding the conflict of faith and science, Aquinas held that there is a single unified system of knowledge and there are no “double truths,” or “two truths.”  Any conflicts that seem to arise are due to errors in the scientific argument.  On the other hand, it is no surprise to Boethius of Dacia that there would be conflicts between faith and science.  That is just what he expects from scientific metaphysics which can be used to show the existence of a First Cause, but can discover nothing about how it uses its powers.  Thus he concedes scripture without denying any scientific theorems.  In the conflict between Christianity and philosophy, Siger of Brabant believed that philosophy was correct, but that if Scripture were properly demythologised it could be reconciled with philosophical truth.[38]

The problems of Latin Averroism, as it related to Christianity, were pointed out by Bonaventure (1221-1274) during his Lenten sermons in the 1260’s and the 1270’s.  First, the teaching of a universal human intellect implied that there was no personal immortality and it denied personal moral responsibility.  Second, the teaching that the world was eternal made it independent of divine creation and denied God’s concern for individuals.  Third, Averroism was teaching that philosophy should be conducted independently of religion and that it was a source of supreme truth separate from religion. [39]

In 1256, Pope Alexander IV asked Albert the Great (c.1206-1280) to look into the issue.  He responded by reacting against Averroism, as did both Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274).  In 1270, Stephen Tempier, the Bishop of Paris condemned a list of errors that were being taught at the University of Paris.  The list of errors included teaching that the world was eternal, that there was not human free will, that the human intellect was universal, and that God was not able to act providentially.[40] In 1277, a more comprehensive list was issued by the Bishop and it threatened with excommunication anyone who taught or listened to such teachings.  Included on this list of errors was the teaching of a “double truth.”[41]

The aftermath of the crisis lasted about a decade during which time even the late Thomas Aquinas was nearly condemned.  However, the storm eventually blew over and a new appreciation arose for Aquinas’ work.  He was canonised in 1323 and his work became very influential during and after the Catholic Reformation.  A period of diminished popularity followed, but a greater emphasis on Aquinas arose again in the nineteenth century[42] when Pope Leo XIII exhorted all Roman Catholics to, “in all earnestness to restore the golden wisdom of St. Thomas and to spread it far and wide for the defence and beauty of the Catholic faith, for the good of society, and for the advantage of all the sciences.”[43]

Christianity survived the crisis caused by the introduction of Averroism and was able to, largely through the work of Thomas Aquinas, create a synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian thought to create a comprehensive systematic Christian theology.  Not only Christian theology, but also science benefited immensely from the introduction of Aristotle’s thought and the implementation of the empirical method.   Christian Europe was not able to permanently prevent philosophy from casting off its subservience to theology, but it was able to delay it for several centuries.  During that time, Aristotelian thought continued percolating beneath the surface, until the creative tension between science and faith boiled over in periods of creativity like the Reformations in the sixteenth century and the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century.  In contrast, the Muslim world remained relatively unchanged intellectually until it re-established contact with the western world.[44] Both orthodox Islam and orthodox Christianity felt very threatened some of the ideas that were developing out of Aristotelian thought.  But because, in the Christian world, the church was able to reharness the philosophers and condemn only the ideas and not the whole process, Aristotelian thought remained and formed the basis for the systemisation of theological thought, as well as in the emerging sciences.  In the Islamic world, they quashed the whole thing.  That has made all the difference!

Bibliography

Primary sources:

Aeterni Patris.”  Papal encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII.  1879.  From J. Maritain.  St. Thomas Aquinas.  New York:  [no publishing firm given], 1958), p. 208, cited in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 473.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973..

al-Ghazzali.  “The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazzali.”  Translated by W. M. Watt.  In Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 265-281.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973.

Athanasius.  “De Incarnatione.”  3.  In The Early Christian Fathers, edited by Henry Bettenson, 274-275.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1956.

Augustine of Hippo.  “On Christian Doctrine.”  In Readings in Medieval History, editied by Patrick J. Geary, second edition, 28-46.  Peterborough, Ont.:  Broadview Press, 1997.

Averroes (Ibn Rushd).  “Averroes on the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy.”  Translated by G.F. Hourani. In Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 287-306.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973.

Averroes (Ibn Rushd).  “Long Commentary on De Anima.”  Translated by Arthur Hyman.  In Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 314-325.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973.

“Condemnation of 219 Propositions.”  Translated by E. L. Fortin and P. D. O’Neill. In Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 542-549.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973.

Justin Martyr.  “Apologia.”  2.13.  In The Early Christian Fathers:  A selection from the writings of the Fathers from St. Clement of Rome to St. Athanasius, edited and translated by Henry Bettenson, 63-64.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1956.

Secondary sources:

Brown, Stephen.  “The intellectual context of later medieval philosophy:  universities, Artistotle, arts, theology.” In Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 188-203.  Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, reitors.  London:  Routledge, 1998.

Butterworth, Charles E., editor.  Averroes Three Short Commentaries on Aristotle’s “Topics,” “Rhetoric,” and “Poetics.” Translated by Charles E. Butterworth.  Albany, N. Y.:  State University of New York Press, 1977.

Cantor, Norman F.  The Civilization of the Middle Ages.  New York:  Harper Collins, 1993.

Davies, Brian, OP.  “Thomas Aquinas.”  In Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 241-268.  Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy. 10 volumes.  G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors.  London:  Routledge, 1998.

Ebbesen, Sten.  “The Paris arts faculty:  Siger of Brabant, Boethius of Dacia, Radulphus Brito.”  In Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 269-290.  Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors.  London:  Routledge, 1998.

Hyman, Arthur and James J. Walsh, editors. Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions.  Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973.

Marenbon, John.  “Bonaventure, the German Dominicans and the new translators.”  In Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 225-240. Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors.  London:  Routledge, 1998.

Marenbon, John, editor.  Medieval Philosophy.  Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors.  London:  Routledge, 1998.

Nielson, Niels C., Jr., general editor.  Religions of the World.  Third edition.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.

Urvoy, Dominique.  Ibn Rushd (Averroes).  Translated by Olivia Stewart.  London:  Routledge, 1991.

Scholarly reference books:

Cooper, J. C., editor.  Cassell Dictionary of Christianity.  London:  Cassell, 1996.

Glassé, Cyril, editor.  The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam.  “Ibn Rushd, Abu-i-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad.”  174-175.  New York:  Harper & Row, 1989.

Livingstone, E. A., editor.  The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.  Third edition.  “Averroism.”  137.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 1997.

Strayer, Joseph R., editor.  Dictionary of the Middle Ages.  Volume 10.  “Rushd, Ibn (Averroës).”   By Michael E. Marmura.  571-575.  New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1988.


[1] Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, (New York:  Harper Collins, 1993), p. 362.

[2] Niels C. Nielson, Jr., editor, Religions of the World, third edition, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993), p. 452.

[3] Nielson, pp. 454-455.

[4] Nielson, pp. 455, 457-458.

[5] al-Ghazzali, “The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazzali,” translated by W. M. Watt, in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 265-281 (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), pp. 269-271.

[6] al-Ghazzali, pp. 272-274.

[7] al-Ghazzali, p. 273.

[8] “Condemnation of 219 Propositions,” translated by E. L. Fortin and P. D. O’Neill, in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 542-549, (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), pp. 542-549.

[9] Athanasius, “De Incarnatione,” 3, in The Early Christian Fathers, edited by Henry Bettenson, (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1956), pp. 274-275.

[10] Justin Martyr, “Apologia 2,” 13, in Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers, pp. 63-64.

[11] Augustine of Hippo, “On Christian Doctrine,” in Readings in Medieval History, edited by Patrick J. Geary, second edition, 28-46, (Peterborough, Ont.:  Broadview Press, 1997), pp. 32-33.

[12] Augustine, p. 43.

[13] Stephen Brown, “The intellectual context of later medieval philosophy:  universities, Artistotle, arts, theology,” in Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 188-203,  Vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker,  editors, (London:  Routledge, 1998), p. 189.

[14] “Condemnation of 219 Propositions,” pp. 542-543.

[15] Cantor, p. 363.

[16] Charles E. Butterworth, editor.  Averroes Three Short Commentaries on Aristotle’s “Topics,” “Rhetoric,” and “Poetics,” translated by Charles E. Butterworth, (Albany, N. Y.:  State University of New York Press, 1977), p. 1.

[17] Dominique Urvoy, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), translated by Olivia Stewart, (London:  Routledge, 1991), p. 32, and Butterworth, p. 1.

[18] Averroes (Ibn Rushd), “Averroes on the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy,” translated by G.F. Hourani, in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 287-306, (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), p. 296.

[19] Averroes, p. 296.

[20] Averroes, p. 295.

[21] Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, editors, Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), p. 285.  See also Averroes, “Long Commentary on De Anima,” translated by Arthur Hyman, in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 314-325, (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), pp. 315-321.

[22] Strayer, Joseph R., editor, Dictionary of the Middle Ages, volume 10,  “Rushd, Ibn (Averroës),”  by Michael E. Marmura, 571-575, (New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988), p. 574.

[23] Glassé, Cyril, editor, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, “Ibn Rushd, Abu-i-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad,”  174-175, (New York:  Harper & Row, 1989), p. 175.

[24] Glassé, p. 175.

[25] Averroes, p. 302.

[26] Averroes, p. 292.

[27] Averroes, p. 302-303.

[28] Urvoy, pp. 34-35.

[29] Marenbon, pp. 226-227.

[30] Brown, p. 191.

[31] John Marenbon, “Bonaventure, the German Dominicans and the new translators,” in Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 225-240, vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors, (London:  Routledge, 1998), pp. 226-227.

[32] Brown, p. 191.

[33] Brown, pp. 191-192.

[34] ODCC, “Averroism,” p. 137. E. A. Livingstone, editor, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, third edition, “Averroism,”  137,  (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 137.

[35] Hyman & Walsh, pp. 450-451.

[36] Sten Ebbesen, “The Paris arts faculty:  Siger of Brabant, Boethius of Dacia, Radulphus Brito,” in Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 269-290, vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors, (London:  Routledge, 1998), p. 280.

[37] Ebbesen. p. 280.

[38] Ebbensen, p. 286.

[39] Brown, pp. 192-193.

[40] Livingstone, editor, “Averroism,” p. 137.

[41] “Condemnation of 219 Propositions,” pp. 542-543.

[42] Brian Davies, OP, “Thomas Aquinas,” in Medieval Philosophy, edited by John Marenbon, 241-268, vol. 3 of Routledge History of Philosophy, 10 volumes, G. H. R. Parkinson and S. G. Shanker, editors, (London:  Routledge, 1998),   p. 241.

[43]Aeterni Patris,” Papal encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII, 1879, From J. Maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas, (New York:  [no publishing firm given], 1958), p. 208, cited in Philosophy in the Middle Ages:  The Christian, Islamic and Jewish Traditions, edited by Arthur Hyman and James J. Walsh, 463,  (Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), p. 463.

[44] Nielson, pp. 458-459.

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About James Paulgaard

Living in the in between, becoming, but not quite there yet, old and new mixed together, hanging on with all my might to the One who is holding onto me.
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