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Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology$
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Frank Griffel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331622.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.275) Conclusion
Source:
Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology
Author(s):

Frank Griffel (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331622.003.0011

Al-Ghazali did not present his teachings on cosmology in any cohesive way. The reason is that the details of cosmology were not one of the important matters of his theology and ethics. It is most important for humans to understand that God creates all events in this world. How he created them, either by directly creating each event of by employing others of His creatures to “generate” them cannot be known by humans. In both views, however, God is the only cause in this world. Humans must know this and they must draw the right conclusions. Despite realizing that this is a fully determined universe, they must strive to perform actions that will be rewarded in this and the next world. Knowing that good actions are the causal effects of one’s knowledge, humans must aim to acquire the right kind of knowledge that will lead them to perform good actions. Al-Ghazali’s theology is driven by the practical consequences of one’s convictions. For him it is less important to have true convictions, i.e. convictions that represent the world as it truly is, but rather right convictions, i.e. convictions that are the causes of good actions, which will be rewarded in this and the next world.

Keywords:   Moses Maimonides, mutakallimun, ibn Tufayl, Richard M. Frank, contingency and necessity, God’s will, tawhid, neo-platonism

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