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Open Access Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The eminent Muslim jurist Ibn Taymiyya is well known for polemic against all manner of rational thought. The term theodicy as used in modern western philosophy of religion indicates the attempt to explain why a good, just and all-powerful God created a less than perfect world. Humans for their part have free will and create their own good and bad deeds apart from God's control. God is just to reward and punish. Ibn Taymiyya wrote voluminously and often polemically on a wide range of issues in an effort to purge Islam of various innovations that he perceived it to have suffered and illumine the pure religion of the Quran, the Sunna and the Salaf. A diachronic analysis of the major theodicean texts might provide clues to evolution in Ibn Taymiyya's thought. Since reliable diachronic analysis of these texts is not possible, some kind of synchronic analysis must be employed.

Keywords: diachronic analysis; God; Ibn Taymiyya; theodicean texts



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