Christian and Islamic Philosophies of Time

Marcin Podbielski, Sotiris Mitralexis (Eds.)

by Sotiris Mitralexis (City University of Istanbul, Turkey; University of Winchester, UK), Mohammad Basil Altaie (Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan), Smilen Markov (St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria), Dionysios Skliris (University of Paris (Sorbonne-Paris IV), France), Georgios Steiris (University of Athens, Greece), Sergey Trostyanskiy (Union Theological Seminary, New York), Mohamed Haj Yousef (United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates)

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"There are many texts on the common concepts of philosophy and science such as God, universe and man. But not so much on time as complementary to all of them. In Christian and Islamic Philosophies of Time, Sotiris Mitralexis and Marcin Podbielski bring together different perspectives on time based on Christian/Byzantine and Islamic/Arabic thought. Through the concept of time this book not only demonstrates how time bridges Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe but also the Christian and Islamic worlds. Even contemporary debates on time have a lot to learn from this rich, timeless experience".

Professor Ishak Arslan,
Philosophy Department, City University of Istanbul

"This is an elegant, and interesting, execution of a fascinating set of research questions. The editors’ particular approach has notable comparative and sociological implications: if the Church (East-West/Orthodox-Catholic) is heading toward reconciliation and communion, this text will be an important voice of not only Systematic/Comparative academic theology, but also for inter-religious dialogue with Islam and ecumenism across denominations."

Professor Sarah Louise MacMillen,
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA

This volume constitutes an attempt at bringing together philosophies of time—or more precisely, philosophies on time and, in a concomitant way, history—emerging from Christianity’s and Islam’s intellectual histories. Starting from the Neoplatonic heritage and the voice of classical philosophy, the volume enters the Byzantine and Arabic intellectual worlds up to Ibn Al-Arabi’s times. A conscious choice in this volume is not to engage with, perhaps, the most prominent figures of Christian and Arabic philosophy, i.e., Augustine on the one hand and Avicenna/Ibn Sina on the other, precisely because these have attracted so much attention due to their prominence in their respective traditions—and beyond. In a certain way, Maximus the Confessor and Ibn Al-Arabi—together with Al-Fārābi—emerge as alternative representatives of their two traditions in this volume, offering two axes for this endeavor. The synthesis of those approaches on time and history, their comparison rather than their mere co-existence, is left to the reader’s critical inquiry and philosophical investigation.

Chapter One
Iamblichus’ Response to Aristotle’s Theory of Time
Dr Sergey Trostyanskiy — Union Theological Seminary, New York

Chapter Two
The Byzantine Concept of Historic Time: Origin and Development
Dr Smilen Markov — St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Chapter Three
Maximus the Confessor’s Theory of Time: A Christianisation of the Aristotelian Legacy
Dr Sotiris Mitralexis — City University of Istanbul & University of Winchester, UK

Chapter Four
Syn-odical Ontology: Maximus the Confessor’s proposition for Ontology, within History and in the Eschaton
Dr Dionysios Skliris — University of Paris IV—Sorbonne & University of Athens

Chapter Five
Time in Islamic Kalām
Dr Mohammad Basil Altaie — Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan

Chapter Six
Al-Fārābi on the Role of Philosophy of History in the History of Civilization
Dr Georgios Steiris — University of Athens

Chapter Seven
Zeno’s Paradoxes and the Reality of Motion According to Ibn al-Arabi’s Single Monad Model of the Cosmos
Dr Mohamed Haj Yousef — United Arab Emirates University


Sotiris Mitralexis has a PhD in Philosophy from the Freie Universität, Berlin (2014) and a degree in Classics from the University of Athens. He is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester, UK.

Marcin Podbielski teaches philosophy at the Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland, and is Editor-in-Chief of Forum Philosophicum, an international journal for philosophy.

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