The 8th European Conference of Iranian Studies , 2015-09-15

Title : ( Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani: The Inconsistency of a Hermeneutic Project )

Authors: Omid Hamedani ,

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Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani (1098-1131), the Persian mystic and theosopher, is notoriously famous for his bold ideas on almost every controversial aspect of Islamic theology and mysticism ranging from Quranic hermeneutics (ta’wil) to the nature of divine attributes and the problem of evil. In the Maktubat he develops two inconsistent hermeneutical views: on the one hand he opts for a radical hermeneutics which gives the intentio lectoris ultimate authority in determining the meaning of texts while on the other hand he defends and elaborates upon what can be called “a hermeneutics of recovery.” The latter form of hermeneutics seeks to discover the original meaning of certain beliefs and Weltanschauungs and thus presupposes an original meaning independent of the readers’ intentions: hence the sharp contrast between the two hermeneutical approaches. In this paper, I argue that this inconsistent hermeneutics helps Ayn al-Quzat justify his own controversial reading of the sacred text (the Quran) which stands in sharp contrast to traditional Quranic exegesis (tafsir). By means of a dual hermeneutic standard, he first clings to the idea that no final and correct reading of a text exists and thus debilitates the authority of exegetical and non-mystical interpretations of the Quran but then goes on to argue that his preferred method of interpretation recovers the original meaning of the Quran and certain mystico-theological beliefs. Ayn al-Quzat’s hermeneutics reflects a basic motivation to justify and validate a certain interpretation amidst the conflict of interpretations, albeit in an inconsistent manner.


, Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani, radical hermeneutics, hermeneutics of recovery, inconsistency
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author = {Hamedani, Omid},
title = {Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani: The Inconsistency of a Hermeneutic Project},
booktitle = {The 8th European Conference of Iranian Studies},
year = {2015},
location = {سن‌پترزبورگ},
keywords = {Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani; radical hermeneutics; hermeneutics of recovery; inconsistency},


%0 Conference Proceedings
%T Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani: The Inconsistency of a Hermeneutic Project
%A Hamedani, Omid
%J The 8th European Conference of Iranian Studies
%D 2015