A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad
For a long time, the study of the life and work of the Jewish thinker 'Izz al-Dawla Ibn Kammuna (d. 683/1284) remained limited to a very small number of texts. Interest in Ibn Kammuna in the Western Christian world dates back to the 17th century, when Barthélemy d’Herbelot (1624-1695) included information on two of Ibn Kammuna's works – his examination of the three faiths (Tanqih al-abhath li-l-milal al-thalat), i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his commentary on Avicenna’s al-Isharat wa l-tanbihat – in his Bibliothèque orientale. Subsequent generations of Western scholars were focused on Ibn Kammuna’s Tanqih al-abhath, whereas his fame in the Eastern lands of Islam was based exclusively on his philosophical writings. These include a commentary on the Kitab al-Talwihat by the founder of Illumationist philosophy, Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi (d. 587/1191) and numerous independent works on philosophy and logic. Since most of the manuscripts of Ibn Kammuna’s philosophical writings are located in the public and private libraries of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, they were (and are) out of reach for the majority of Western scholars.
The volume gives a detailed account of the available data of Ibn Kammuna’s biography, provides an outline of his philosophcial thought and studies in detail the reception of his thought and his writings among later Muslim and Jewish philosophers. An inventory of his entire œuvre provides detailed information on the extant manuscripts. The volume furthermore includes editions of nine of his writings.