An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions:
Introducing Alfarabiby:Joshua Parens
State University of New York Press (February 9, 2006)Language:
9.3 x 6.1 x 0.7 inchesBook Description
Explores the approach to peaceful religious coexistence offered by Alfarabi, the greatest Islamic political philosopher.From the Back Cover
Joshua Parens provides an introduction to the thought of Alfarabi, a tenth-century Muslim political philosopher whose writings are particularly relevant today. Parens focuses on Alfarabi’sAttainment of Happiness, in which he envisions the kind of government and religion needed to fulfill Islam’s ambition of universal acceptance. Parens argues that Alfarabi seeks to temper the hopes of Muslims and other believers that one homogeneous religion might befit the entire world and counsels acceptance of the possibility of a multiplicity of virtuous religions. Much of Alfarabi’s approach is built upon Plato’sRepublic, which Parens also examines in order to provide the necessary background for a proper understanding of Alfarabi’s thought.
"Timely and essential to the understanding of Islam, this book explores a classical Islamic writer’s reflections on the leading topic in Islamic and Western politics today: In what way should Muslims think about, and to what extent should they promote, the expansion of Islamic religion throughout the world? The book is practical in nature and addresses specific topics in Middle Eastern politics with resources from Alfarabi that have been available for one thousand years, yet have been ignored all too often. What is so important is that Alfarabi shows, from within Islam, what Muslims need to consider regarding science, philosophy, politics, and other religions. Islam does not need to turn to European or North American writers to find its own greatest strengths—Alfarabi is one of their own." — Terence J. Kleven, Central College
"Parens offers an illuminating interpretation of Plato’s Republic, which is the model for Alfarabi’s political philosophy, and, in so doing, breaks new ground in Plato interpretation." — David Burrell, author ofFaith and Freedom:An Interfaith PerspectiveAbout the Author
Joshua Parens is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas and author ofMetaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi’s Summary of Plato’s "Laws," also published by SUNY Press.