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5 Theological Opponents

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Chapter Summary

With the theologians named up to now, from Abū Ḥanīfa to ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Pazdawī, this chapter describes a milieu that may rightly be characterized as Abū Manṣūr's religious and intellectual background. All these names belonged to the Ḥanafite tradition he called his own, and their texts examined here display an understanding of faith which is supposed to have guided him and formed the basis which he used for his own deeper theological reflections. Religious apology played a significant formative role here as well, since fending off and refuting other views usually gave cause for reflecting on one's own understanding, whether in debate with adherents of other religions, or even worse, with disagreeable representatives of rival Islamic sects. From al-Māturīdī's list of opponents the chapter distinguishes a second category of religious groupings.

Keywords: ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Pazdawī; Ḥanafite tradition; Abū Ḥanīfa; al-Māturīdī; Islamic heresiography; Religious apology



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