traditionalism

   An influential theological and legal tendency that identifies tradition (naql) rather than reason (‘aql) or considered opinion (ra’y) as the preeminent source of human knowledge. Traditionalists (ahl al-hadith, lit. ‘people of tradition’) typically privilege revelation (the Qur’an), the actions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (sunna, lit. ‘well-followed path’, i.e. customary practice or tradition) and consensus (ijma‘). They place great stock in traditional reports of Muhammad’s actions and sayings (ahadith; sing: hadith) and revere those who collect and transmit these reports (muhaddith or ‘traditionists’). In general, they are opposed to figurative interpretations of the Qur’an and hostile to any kind of rational speculation or disputation about questions left unclear by revelation. They see pure reason as an unstable, unreliable device that gives rise to innovation and deviation from the truths provided by the sources mentioned above, leading to heresy and even unbelief. Not surprisingly, they are implacable critics of rationalist theologians and philosophers. However, traditionalists disagree about how best to respond to those who privilege reason. Pure or extreme traditionalists prohibit rational argumentation altogether and completely dissociate themselves from those who engage in it, branding them as unbelievers and in some cases even persecuting them. Moderate traditionalists engage with and attempt to refute advocates of reason, using not only traditional proofs but rational arguments themselves (turning reason on itself, as it were, to highlight its own limitations and inadequacies). This points up a certain ambivalence about the status of reason within traditionalism. While extreme traditionalists (e.g. the Zahirites) often seem to reject rational argumentation and interpretation altogether, moderate traditionalists (e.g. the Hanbalites) accept the use of reason so long as it is confirmed by tradition. Thus, figures like Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyya will employ reason to defend tradition and refute their rationalist adversaries (indeed, their arguments can be surprisingly resourceful), but ultimately assign it a subordinate role. In short, reason is answerable to tradition, but not vice versa.
   See Ash‘arites; Hanbalites; Ibn Hazm; Ibn Taymiyya; rationalism; theology
   Further reading: Abrahamov 1998; Arberry 1957; Hallaq 1993

Islamic Philosophy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Traditionalism — • A philosophical system which makes tradition the supreme criterion and rule of certitude Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Traditionalism     Traditionalism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • tradiţionalism — TRADIŢIONALÍSM s.n. Ataşament (exagerat) faţă de tradiţie; atitudine dictată de acest ataşament. ♦ (În mişcarea culturală şi literară) Tendinţă excesivă spre folclor, istorie etc., care se opune modernismului şi respinge ideea de civilizaţie;… …   Dicționar Român

  • Traditionalism — may refer to: *The systematic emphasis on the value of Tradition. *The Traditionalist School of thought, an esoteric movement espoused by René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon et al. See also Radical Traditionalism. * Catholic Traditionalism , a current… …   Wikipedia

  • Traditionalism — Tra*di tion*al*ism, n. A system of faith founded on tradition; esp., the doctrine that all religious faith is to be based solely upon what is delivered from competent authority, exclusive of rational processes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • traditionalism — index custom Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • traditionalism — ► NOUN ▪ the upholding of tradition, especially so as to resist change. DERIVATIVES traditionalist noun & adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • traditionalism — [trə dish′ə nəliz΄əm] n. 1. adherence to tradition; sometimes, specif., excessive attachment to tradition 2. the doctrine, condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th cent., that the only valid religious belief is that handed down by… …   English World dictionary

  • traditionalism — [[t]trədɪ̱ʃənəlɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Traditionalism is behaviour and ideas that support established customs and beliefs, rather than modern ones. Ant: progressivism …   English dictionary

  • traditionalism — tradicionalizmas statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Biheiviorizmo šalininkų terminas, kuriuo apibūdinamas politikos mokslo raidos etapas ir tradicinė politikos tyrimų kryptis. Tai pavadinimas – „skėtis“, po juo telpa 3 politikos mokslo srovės …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

  • traditionalism — tradicionalizmas statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Tarptautinių santykių studijų teorija, grindžiama politine filosofija, diplomatijos istorija, tarptautine teise. Terminas pradėtas vartoti 20 a. 6 dešimtmetyje, socialiniuose moksluose… …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.