The Post-Avicennian tradition of Islamic philosophy and theology is now increasingly accepted as equalling the so called classical period in depth, originality and conceptual rigour. The interest of philosophically inclined intellectual historians notwithstanding, our grasp of the later tradition is still fragmentary, and even recognizably important thinkers and contexts remain understudied, a prominent case in point being the philosophers and theologians writing during the first century of Ṣafavid rule. As a result, we often tend to read the better known thinkers of the second Ṣafavid century, with Mullā Ṣadrā at the spearhead, in relative isolation from their immediate context. Although it is clear that they engaged with the major figures of the preceding centuries (such as Avicenna, al-Ghazālī, Suhrawardī and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī), it is more than likely that the focus of their thought and the angle of their approach were in equal measure determined by contemporary interests and debates.
It is against this background that the present panel convenes experts on both the first Ṣafavid century and the seventeenth century of Mullā Ṣadrā. Our aim is to chart the threads that run from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century, to locate missing links and nodes in the transmission of thoughts, and to re-assess the novelty of certain seventeenth century ideas (such as the primacy of existence, substantial movement, or the unity theory of knowledge) in this light. Our focus is on intellectual history, which means that we are primarily interested in ideas, their contexts of application, their transmission and their transformation. The papers will address questions pertaining to the philosophy of religion, the relation between philosophy and theology, and theory of knowledge.