An Examination and Crituqe of Fakhr al-Rāzī’s Theory of the Distinction between God’s Attributes and His Essence

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 PhD, Philosophy and Theology, Faculty of Humanities, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Philosophy and Theology, Faculty of Humanities, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran

10.22034/jid.2023.261592.2125

Abstract

This article seeks to explore the relationship between God's essence and His attributes from the perspective of Fakhr al-Rāzī, with a specific focus on essential divine attributes. In examining Fakhr al-Rāzī's views, we observe that he often simplifies various theological disagreements pertaining to divine attributes by reducing them to verbal issues. However, he does not consistently apply this approach universally, as he also delves into ontological investigations of divine attributes and essence in several instances. In his examination of general and specific arguments concerning the attribution of each attribute to God, Fakhr al-Rāzī endeavors to challenge the notion of identity between the essence and the attributes. Despite being an Ashʿarite theologian, he finds the arguments against this identification to be insufficient and occasionally leans toward affirming their identity. However, in order to reconcile these divergent perspectives, he ultimately supports the distinction between divine attributes and God's essence, while addressing the inherent issues associated with this distinction by positing that the attributes are dependent on the essence. This perspective implies that the essence has brought forth the attributes, aligning closely with the viewpoint espoused by Muslim mystics.

Keywords

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