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Book of Radiance

A Parallel English-Persian Text. By: Shihab al-Din Sohravardi

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series 1
Availability: In stock
Published: 1998
Page #: xviii + 188
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56859-081-4, ISBN 13:978-1568590813
glossary, index

 
$30.00

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Quick Overview

Shihab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash ibn Amirak Abul-Futuh Sohravardi was born in Sohravard in northwestern Iran in 549/1154. He is one of the best known figures in the history of Islamic philosophy, his status as founder of philosophy of illuminations earned him the honorific title, “Master of Illumination” (Shaykh al-Ishraq). This book, Partow Nameh , or The Book of Radiance is his major theoretical work in Persian. His important writings on the philosophy of illumination are The Intimations (al-Talwihat), The Apposite (al-Muqawamat), The Paths and Havens (al-Mashar‘ wa’l-Mutarahat), and The Philosophy of Illumination (Hikmat al-Ishraq). These four major works constitute an integral corpus.

Philosophy of illumination has played an essential role in the development of systematic thought in Iran, where its impact on intellectual history has been equal to, if not greater than, Avicenna’s peripatetic thinking. The present volume is a short epitome of illuminationist philosophy, and applies the terminology and other elements of Sohravard’s new illuminationist arguments. The work is cited by his chief biographer, Shams al-Din Muhùammad Shahrazur, in a list of forty-six other treatises by Sohravardi.

The Book of Radiance was composed for the Seljuk ruler Sulayman Shah, who is said to have been a great patron of philosophy. The work is in an elegant philosophical Persian in ten chapters in which topics selected from logic, physics, and metaphysics are presented.

One of the significant components of The Book of Radiance is Sohravard’s use of the ancient Persian concepts of Kiyan Kharreh (Kayanid Glory) and Farreh-ye Izai (Divine Glory), in describing manifest qualities of just rule. These concepts are integral to Sohravardi’s political doctrine, which associates wisdom, as well as clairvoyance, true dreams, divine inspiration, and other such extraordinary qualities with the just rule of the philosopher-king.

The present volume is the first English translation of Partow Nameh which is presented in a parallel English-Persian edition. Students of Islamic philosophy have now access to a complete epitome of illuminaitonist philosophy—the most significant development in the post Avicennan period—in English. The Book of Radiance has been discussed in historical studies on Islamic philosophy notably by Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

author

Hossein Ziai (1944-2011)

Hossein Ziai, Tenured Full Professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, and Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA, where he has taught since 1988. He received his B.S. in 1967 in Mathematics & Physics from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976. Prior to his position at UCLA, Ziai has taught at Tehran University, Sharif University, Harvard University, Brown University, and Oberlin College. Dr. Ziai has published several volumes and numerous articles on Islamic philosophy, especially the Iranian/Islamic Illuminationist tradition. His books include: (1) Philosophy of Mathematics (in Persian); (2) Anvariyya (The Realm of Lights); (3) Knowledge and Illumination; (4) Shahrazur's Commentary on Hikmat al-Ishraq; (5) The Book of Radiance; (6) The Philosophy of Illumination; (7) The Ball and Polo Stick, or the Book of Ecstasy; (8) Ibn Kammuna's Text on Illuminationist Physics. He has also contributed many chapters to edited volumes including: "Beyond Philosophy" in Myth and Philosophy, edited by Frank Reynolds and David Tracy. "The Source and Nature of Authority" in The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Charles Butterworth; and three chapters in The Routledge History of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman. He is also the author of numerous articles on Islamic philosophy and on Iranian/Islamic intellectual traditions. Ziai has offered numerous papers at national and international conferences.

PREFACE.
INTRODUCTION.

THE BOOK OF RADIANCE.

Chapter 1.
On the Explanation of Some Philosophical Terms;
and on Defining the Body and Some of its States.

Chapter 2.
On the Bounds of the Limited; Space and Time;
and Remarks on Generation and Corruption

Chapter 3.
An Inquiry into the Self

Chapter 4.
On the Faculties of the Soul.

Chapter 5.
On the Essence of the Necessary Being
and Its Attributes.

Chapter 6.
On the Activity of the Necessary Being.

Chapter 7.
On the Upper Limits and Order of Being.

Chapter 8.
On the Causes of Generation, the Good and Bad;
and on Predestination and Fate.

Chapter 9.
On the Immortality of the Soul;
Happiness and Insolence, and Similar Things.

chapter 10.
On Prophecy, Miracles, Miraculous Powers,
Dreams, and Similar Phenomena.

GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS, Persian-English.
INDEX.

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