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This book contains an edition and annotated translation of the remaining fragments of a maqālāt treatise written by Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Qalānisī at the end of the 3rd/9th or beginning of the 4th/10th c. Unlike al-Balḫī and al-Ašʿarī, the two main authors of maqālāt from the same period, al-Qalānisī is a theologian who was never part of Muʿtazili circles but rather belongs to Ibn Kullāb’s school that aims to defend Sunni doctrines by the use of the dialectical method. These are the only remaining fragments of the great albeit little-known theologian who probably never left the city of Rayy. They reflect his intellectual agenda of integrating the traditionnist milieux in the main theological debates of the 3rd/9th c. The history he writes of early kalām differs from that of the Muʿtazilis and the Hanbalis, who both agree that theologians and traditionnists are two mutually exclusive professions. Through the category of « traditionnists theologians » which appears for the first time in these fragments, al-Qalānisī takes part with al-Ašʿarī in the great synthesis of the 4th/10th c. However, despite all their similarities, their two historiographical projects differ greatly one from another. The study preceding the edition sheds a new light on the strategy of al-Qalānisī in order to explain the reasons behind the success of al-Ašʿarī whose school relegated this early and flourishing period of Sunni kalām in the margins of orthodoxy.
Ziad Bou Akl, CNRS, École normale supérieure, Paris, France.
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