Projet Avicenna East & West

Avicenna East I: Commentaries on the Qaṣīdat al-nafs attributed to Avicenna

The many commentaries on the Poem on the soul attributed to Ibn Sīnā, while listed in modern bibliographies of Avicenna’s works by Anawati and Mahdavi, are still virtually unexplored, save for one or two exceptions. Their importance, due among other things to the fact that they are mainly the work of non-philosophers and reflect thus the pervasiveness of Avicenna’s œuvre in a wider audience, has been highlighted by De Smet and Madelung, both writing on an Ismaili commentary by Ibn al-Walīd (d. 612/1215).

The aim of our project is to explore further this tradition of commentaries. It is divided in two main sub-projects.

(1) A study of particularly remarkable individual commentaries: edition and study of three commentaries from the 13th and 14th c. (Baḥrānī; Tilimsānī; Qayṣarī); comparative analysis of two commentaries from the 16th and 17th c. (Anṭākī; Munāwī).

(2) A synthetic analysis of the commentaries that will explore the various contexts and aims of these texts, the precise nature of the questions raised, and the types of arguments and references used in the debates emerging in the interpretation of the poem or between commentators.

This research builds on a previous project by our team on the same corpus (also funded by the FNRS) that provided an updated inventory of the commentaries, and showed the pertinence of this corpus to document the attitude towards Avicenna’s legacy, and falsafa in general, in Islamic society. See Bonmariage (2018). "Commentaries on Ibn Sīnā’s Qaṣīdat al-nafs: an inventory," Mélanges de l'Université Saint Joseph 67 (2017-2018), 21-125.

Project funded by the FNRS (PDR 2019)

Objectifs du projet

(1) Comprendre la diffusion de la pensée avicennienne au sens large dans l’Orient musulman à travers l’analyse des commentaires du Poème de l’âme.

(2) Procéder à une analyse transversale des commentaires pour déterminer sur quelles questions précises, en quels termes, en utilisant quels types d’arguments, quelles références, quel type de discours, les commentateurs s’affrontent au texte et entre eux.

Volets 2019-2020

(1) Edition et analyse des commentaires de ʿAlī b. Sulaymān al-Baḥrānī (m. 672/1274), ʿAfīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsanī (610-690/1213-1291), Dāʾūd al-Qayṣarī (attribué à, m. 751/1350)

(2) Analyse comparée des commentaires de Dāʾūd al-Anṭākī (m. 1599) et de ʿAbd al-Raʾūf al-Munāwī (m. 1621)

(3) Exposé synthétique sur la tradition des commentaires de la Qaṣīdat al-nafs


Our activities

Les activités récurrentes de l'équipe

Our team

Qui travaille à ce projet


WIP seminar: Agnieszka Erdt on Munawi's commentary on...

TUE July 14, 4-6 PM   Work in progress seminar: Agnieszka Erdt on Munawi's commentary on the Qasidat al-nafs   Members only

WIP seminar: Lila Lamrani on Antaki's commentary on the...

TUE Aug. 4, 2-4 PM Work in progress seminar: Lila Lamrani on Antaki's commentary on the Qasidat al-nafs Members only

L. LAMRANI - Avicenna's psychology revisited

Séminaire ARA online Lila LAMRANI nous présente ses recherches: "Avicenna's psychology revisited: the individual survival of the soul into question" Ouvert à tous - everyone welcome !...

A. ERDT: Allama Tabataba'i as a modern representative of...

Séminaire ARA (Pensée arabo-islamique pré-moderne) Agnieszka Erdt will present her research on Allama Tabataba'i (d. 1981) If you want to participate to the seminar, please contact...

Séminaire CDWM - ARA | Munāwī (m. 1621) sur la...

Collège Mercier, SOCR 24