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The Spread and Persistence of Māturīdi Kalām and Underlying Dynamics

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The paper is concerned with a long-term perspective on the position of Māturīdi kalām within (mostly) Hanafi Muslim societies from Timurid times to the 19th century. Whereas outright conflict between legal and theological schools was mainly a thing of the past during the time in question with Ash'arism, already fully embraced also by Hanafi constituencies within the ahl al-sunna wa l-jamā'a, a preference for Māturīdi views on specific issues persisted among the majority of Hanafi kalām scholars from Bosnia to South Asia. This state of affairs will be highlighted through recourse to madrasa curricula and theological literature from the era and areas as diverse as Turkey and Southeast Asia. Additionally, it seeks to draw attention to the mechanisms behind the spread and long-term persistence of the school throughout large parts of a Muslim world seemingly dominated by Ash'arism in the sphere of scholastic theology. In this regard, the prevalence of Transoxanian legal tradition within Hanafism and its linkages to Māturīdism, as well as the relationship of Naqshbandi Sufism to the school will be discussed.

Affiliations: 1: University of Vienna


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