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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jāmī (817–898/1414–1492): His biography and intellectual influence in Herat
by Okten, Ertugrul I., Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2007, 445; 3262326
Abstract (Summary)

'Abd al-Rahman Jam i (d. 898/1492), an outstanding late medieval intellectual and poet from Central Asia, had a major influence on the intellectual, religious, and literary history of the Islamic civilization. The current study provides a detailed biography of Jami in a western language for the first time and analyzes his intellectual mission within the context of the 15th century Herat/Khurasan.

The biography part explores Jam's political, social and cultural environment, its transformation throughout the 15th century, and J ami's interaction with it as an intellectual and artist. It looks at Jami's relationship with the Timurid rulers, the influential Sufi currents of the time such as the Kubrawiyya, Zayniyya, and the Naqshbandiyya, and the intellectual currents such as the Taftazani -Jurjani schools and the speculative theology tradition. It aims to produce a balanced account of the 15th century Timurid history and Jam i's significance in it by putting an equal emphasis on each of these factors.

The second part focuses on Jami's clash with the discipline of speculative theology represented by the famous astronomer 'Ali Qushji and the prominent Timurid theologian Kamal al-Din Shaykh Husayn, and the vibrant Nurbakhshid messianic movement of the time. It argues that Jami successfully confronted these alternative intellectual and spiritual traditions and offered a viable alternative in his formulation of the doctrine of wahdat al-wuj ud. As Herat witnessed the decline of these movements and the departure of their representatives, it was Jam i's intellectual and spiritual legacy that prevailed.

The final part of this study examines the intercession letters J ami wrote on behalf of needy individuals in order to see what kind of a social 'faction' formed around this towering Timurid intellectual.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Woods, John E.
School: The University of Chicago
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 68/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious history, Theology, Middle Ages
Keywords: Afghanistan, Biography, Herat, Intellectual influence, Jami, Timurids
Publication Number: 3262326
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