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The Act of Being: The Philosophy of Revelation in Mulla Sadra Hardcover – December 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This... is not simply an antiquarian passion. It is a matter of discovering not an old and worn-out artifact but rather what Islam says about being as being. It is also a matter of knowing what Islam says about its own being, its own decision concerning being.... It is a matter of understanding the ontology of Islam in both senses of the expression: the doctrine of being that Islam slowly brought to completion, and that which constitutes the being of Islam itself, its ontological foundation." - from the preface to The Act of Being"

About the Author

Christian Jambet teaches philosophy in Paris and has translated numerous Islamic philosophers and poets. He is also the author of La logique des Orientaux: Henry Corbin et la science des formes and La grande résurrection d'Alamût: Les formes de la liberté dans le shi'isme ismaélien.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890951692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890951696
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kowalewski on October 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to praise this book too highly - both its subject, Molla Sadra, and its author Christian Jambet, are masters of philosophical exposition and Sadra's apparent ontological reversal from the Muslim conception of God as Essence to God as the Act of Being must be one of the most fascinating metamorphoses in a philosophical tradition. The 17th Century Persian still influences Iranian thought and considering his philosophy carries echoes and anticipations of Spinoza, Heidegger, Bergson, Kierkegaard, to name but a few, the notion of an insuperable gulf between "the West" and Iran is shown to be nonsense. A timely as well as timeless book, then.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ishraqi on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mulla Sadra has a central place in modern Shi'ite philosophy. I've read numerous books that make mention of his importance both as a synthesizer of various streams of thought** and as an innovator who brought Islamic philosophy to its perfection. I was looking for a good source of information on Mulla Sadra and "The Act of Being: The Philosophy of Revelation in Mulla Sadra" looked like a good place to turn. It's probably the most comprehensive work on Sadra in English (at least that I've come across) and it was a very informative book. "The Act of Being" is really necesary reading for the student of Shiite philosophy.

Just as a side note - you might want to read "Sadr al-Din Shirazi and his transcendent theosophy: Back ground, life and works" by S.H. Nasr as an introduction before you try to tackle this work.

* Particularly the Illuminationist (Suhrawardi) , Peripatetic (ibn Sina , etc), and of Ibn Arabi.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sharif Islam on January 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Christian Jambet is his book The Act of Being: The Philosophy of Revelation in Mulla Sadra, elaborates on some of the central concepts of the Iranian Shi'ite philosopher Mulla Sadra. An enigmatic figure of the Persian Islamic world, Mulla Sadra's views could be described as a philosophy influnenced by Aristotle and Avicenna (Ibn Sina), obviosly based on Qur'anic revelation and Shi'ite world view. And that was just a gross simplification.

Bulk of the book is devoted to ontology of Islam as understood by Mulla Sadra and the place of Mulla Sadra's view in Aristotelian and Avicennian systems of thought. It is worth pointing out how Jambert reaches the above conclusion in order to emphasize the study of metaphysics and politics in the same vein.

Jambert although acknowledges that study of figures such as Mulla Sadra will primarily remain within the scholarly world, he mentions that it is not just another "antiquarian passion" (p. 13). He cogently argues that the philosophical thought of Islam did not come to a halt in the thirteenth century after being the "springboard" philosophy for Aristotelian thoughts, which is a common perception among some historians:

"On the contrary, reasonable scholars will admit that one cannot treat Islamic thinkers after the thirteenth century as if they were simply "mystics" or "spiritual masters" devoted entirely to an inner salvation devoid of any conceptual intelligence. One goal of the present work, among the other purposes it attempts to serve, is to show how a number of discourses, including metaphysics, the exegesis of the Qur'an, the sciences inherited from the Greeks, Sufism, and morality, were progressively constituted into coherent systems." (p.
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