Syros investigates Marsilius’s application of medical metaphors in his discussion of the causes of civil strife and the desirable political organization. He also demonstrates how Marsilius’s demarcation between ethics and politics and his use of examples from Greek mythology foreshadow early modern political debates (involving such prominent political authors as Niccolò Machiavelli and Paolo Sarpi) about the political dimension of religion, church-state relations, and the emergence and decline of the state.
Vasileios Syros is a Senior Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland at the Finnish Centre of Political Thought & Conceptual Change.
This book is the second of a two volume set and will be useful to teachers and advanced students of political theory and medieval history. Topics discussed in this volume include authority in the Church, the problem of the Empire and the relationship between the Church and the State.
“A masterpiece and the central part of a trilogy that will be a true masterwork.”—Jeffrey Burton Russell, University of California, Santa Barbara
According to Orwin, Alfarabi strove to recast the Islamic Umma as a community in both a religious and cultural sense, encompassing art and poetry as well as law and piety. By proposing to acknowledge and accommodate diverse Ummas rather than ignoring or suppressing them, Alfarabi anticipated the contemporary concept of "Islamic civilization," which emphasizes culture at least as much as religion. Enlisting language experts, jurists, theologians, artists, and rulers in his philosophic enterprise, Alfarabi argued for a new Umma that would be less rigid and more creative than the Muslim community as it has often been understood, and therefore less inclined to force disparate ethnic and religious communities into a single mold. Redefining the Muslim Community demonstrates how Alfarabi's judicious combination of cultural pluralism, religious flexibility, and political prudence could provide a blueprint for reducing communal strife in a region that continues to be plagued by it today.