Giordano Bruno and the Islamic Tradition Cover Image

Giordano Bruno and the Islamic Tradition
Giordano Bruno and the Islamic Tradition

Author(s): Francesco Malaguti
Subject(s): Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Islam studies, Renaissance Philosophy, Middle-East Philosophy
Published by: Ideas Forum International Academic and Scientific Association
Keywords: Islamic science in the West; Latin Averroism; Hermeticism; Alchemy; Astrology;

Summary/Abstract: Giordano Bruno has been described as a philosopher, a mathematician, a poet and a mage: all of these terms depict a different aspect of the multi-faceted thinker he was. The development of his original and anti-dogmatic views is partly due to a constant confrontation with different philosophical, scientific and religious doctrines that Scholasticism did not share. Our aim in this article is to clarify the role of the Islamic tradition and its figures in relation to the thought of Giordano Bruno. There is no comprehensive study about this topic, though academics found a consistent connection between the philosophy of Bruno and Latin Averroism.Other topics concerning the Nolan philosopher and the Arabic sources deserve our attention: for example, aspects regarding the Western reception of Islamic science and pseudoscience (astronomy, astrology and alchemy in particular). Philological investigations establish that Bruno read Latin translations of Arabic works and found theories of medieval Muslim thinkers on secondary sources: in fact, he was familiar with authors like al-Ghazali, Avempace and Averroes, as he mentioned them in his works. In order to understand to what extent the Islamic tradition influenced Bruno, we analyzed and contextualized his references concerning the Arabs and the Persians. We concluded that he had an interest in the scientific and philosophical theories of the Muslims, but his overall view on Islam was vague and conditioned by the beliefs of his historical period. Moreover,we highlighted that Averroes was the only Islamic thinker who significantly influenced Bruno; though, the thought of the Nolan has more points in common with Averroism, rather than with the actual philosophy of Averroes.

  • Issue Year: 2/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 117 - 131
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English