31 mars 2021

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines (fisa de lectura)


Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for Its Study by the Ikhwan al-Safa’, Al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina

Revised Edition

Thames and Hudson 1978



- the intellectual ferment resulting from the impact of Hellenism



The book is a revised and elaborated version of a thesis presented to the Department of the History of Science and Learning at Harvard University in 1958

The Muslim cosmological and natural sciences are closely bound to the metaphysical, religious, and philosophical ideas governing Islamic civilization.


Prologue. Islam and the Study of Nature

In a traditional civilization like that of Islam the cosmological sciences are closely related to the Revelation because in such civilization the immutable revealed principle manifests itself everywhere in social life as well as in the cosmos in which that civilization lives.

The relation between Revelation and the people who are its receptor is like that of form to matter in the Aristotelian theory of hylomorphism.

Unlike pure metaphysics and mathematics which are independent of relativity, cosmological sciences are closely related to the perspective of the “observer” so that they are completely dependent upon the Revelation or the qualitative essence of the civilization in whose matrix they are cultivated.

The Quran often calls Nature a book which is the macrocosmic counterpart of the Quran itself and which must be read and understood before it can be put away.

Any basic study of the cosmological sciences of a civilization must take into account not only the historical borrowing of ideas and facts from earlier cultures but also this intimate connection between Revelation and the symbols used to study Nature.

- the unicity of Nature is the natural consequence of the Unity of the Divine Principle;

- interrelatedness of all things;

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