Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of Al-Ghazali, a major philosopher and theologian of the late 11th century. Born in Persia, he was one of the most prominent intellectuals of his age, working in such centres of learning as Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem. He is now seen as a key figure in the development of Islamic thought, not just refining the theology of Islam but also building on the existing philosophical tradition inherited from the ancient Greeks.

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  • Peter Adamson 7 episodes
    Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich
  • Carole Hillenbrand 3 episodes
    Professor of Islamic History at Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities
  • Robert Gleave 4 episodes
    Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Exeter

Reading list

  • Al-Ghazali (trans. M. E. Marmura), The Incoherence of the Philosophers
    Brigham Young University, 2002 (Brigham Young University, 2002)
  • Al-Ghazali (trans. R. J. McCarthy), Freedom and Fulfillment: An annotated translation of Al-Ghazali al-Munqidh min al-Dalal and other relevant works of Al-Ghazali
    Twayne Publishers, 1980 (Twayne Publishers, 1980)
  • Richard M. Frank, Creation and the Cosmic System: Al-Ghazali and Avicenna
    C. Winter, 1992 (C. Winter, 1992)
  • Richard M. Frank, Al-Ghazali and the Ash'arite School
    Duke University Press, 1994 (Duke University Press, 1994)
  • Frank Griffel, Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology
    Oxford University Press, 2012 (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • Sebastian Gunther (ed.), Ideas, Images, and Methods of Portrayal: Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam
    Brill, 2005 (Brill, 2005)
  • M. E. Marmura, Probing in Islamic Philosophy: Studies In The Philosophies Of Ibn Sina
    Global Academic Publishing, 2004 (Global Academic Publishing, 2004)
  • Parviz Morewedge (ed.), Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism
    Caravan Books, 1981 (Caravan Books, 1981)
  • Eric Ormsby, Ghazali: The Revival of Islam
    Oneworld Publications, 2007 (Oneworld Publications, 2007)
  • F. Shehadi, Ghazali's Unique Unknowable God
    E. J. Brill, 1964 (E. J. Brill, 1964)
  • Margaret Smith, Al-Ghazali, The Mystic: A Study of the Life and Personality of Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Tusi Al-Ghazali
    Luzac & Co, 1944 (Luzac & Co, 1944)
  • W. Montgomery Watt, Muslim Intellectual: A Study of al-Ghazali
    Edinburgh University Press, 1963 (Edinburgh University Press, 1963)
  • W. Montgomery Watt, The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali
    First published 1951, Oneworld Publications, 1995 (First published 1951, Oneworld Publications, 1995)

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the 11th century AD, the Middle East, particularly the cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem, was a flourishing centre of learning and cultural activity.