The mystical cosmology set forth by Abu-l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. Yūsuf al-Qurashī al-Būnī (d. 622 / 1225) is of tremendous importance for understanding the development and application of the medieval Islamic occult sciences. In this thesis, we explore the concept and purpose of medieval Islamic theurgy as it is presented by al-Būnī. We will attempt to contextualize it within its complex and nuanced cosmology. His widely distributed and often banned work Shams al-maʿārif presents a challenge to even the most adept reader as it requires advanced understanding in an array of seemingly disparate subjects. This and other of al-Būnī’s works represent a comprehensive, albeit roundabout, guide to medieval Islamic occult philosophy and theurgic rites. The body of work as whole, dubbed the ‘Corpus Bunianum’ by Jan Just Witkam, problematically suffers from lack of critical scholarship and confusion within its textual tradition. We will offer an introductory analysis of the textual tradition and a list of titles which can be reasonably attributed to al-Būnī, along with some information regarding their manuscript tradition
Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department
MA in Arabic Studies
Date of Award
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Ahmad, Saiyad Nizamuddin
Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
BÃ…Â«nÃ„Â«, AÃ¡Â¸Â¥mad ibn ÃŠÂ»AlÃ„Â«, -1225.
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
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Martin III, J.
(2011).Theurgy in the medieval Islamic world: conceptions of cosmology in Al-Būnī’s Doctrine of the Divine Names [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Martin III, John Daniel. Theurgy in the medieval Islamic world: conceptions of cosmology in Al-Būnī’s Doctrine of the Divine Names. 2011. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.