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Title: An investigation into the cultural ethos of the Samaritan Memar Marqah with special reference to the work of Philo of Alexandria
Author: Broadie, Alexander
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1975
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In Chapter III I take a first step towards Identifying Margah's account of God's nature, by expounding his conception of divine oneness. Margah regards God as one, both in the sense that He is unique and in the sense that He lacks internal plurality. I trace this conception of divine oneness back through Philo to Aristotle. Certain implications of divine oneness are discussed, namely, the spacelessness, timelessness and incorporeality of God, and Marqah's position on these conceptions is shown to be the same as those of earlier philosophers. In Chapter IV I discuss, with special reference to Philo, Marqah's account of the unknowability of God. His account is based conceptually on his conception of God's oneness. I show how passages in which Marqah speaks of men knowing God can be squared with his doctrine of God's unknowability; we can know that ; God is, but not what He is. On this matter Margah's position is identical with Philos. In Chapter VI discuss Marqah's apparent inconsistency in holding both that God is internally one and that He has many attributes, such as justice, mercy, knowledge and power. I argue that all these attributes, which can be regarded as the powers of God, are God's "properties" in the Aristotelian logical sense of the term; they are not part of God's essence but belong to Him by virtue of His essence. Various characteristics of God's. powers, and the question of the knowability of those, powers, are discussed. Philo’s writings are frequently referred to since they shed a great deal of light on the teaching of the Memar on the divine powers. On this topic the positions of Philo and Marqah are almost identical. In Chapter VI I discuss Marqah's conception of God's personhood, contrasting his position with Aristotle's and showing its similarity to Philos. Margah speaks of God as just, merciful, compassionate, loving and so one I discuss the various ways in which Marqah's position can be defended against the charge of anthropomorphism, and then examine: various of the personal qualities Marqah attributes to God. Special attention is payed to the nature of divine knowledge and of the divine will. It is argued that Marqah held that divine knowledge and the divine will are in crucial respects wholly unlike human knowledge and will. Chapter VII deals with Marqah's account of the creation and of the nature of the created world. His position is contrasted with that of Hellenic philosophers from Thales to Aristotle, who either ignore the possibility of creation ex nihilo (Thales and Anaximander) or reject its possibility (Aristotle), Plato's Timaeus doctrine, involving the idea of the demiurge employing a model in creating, is expounded, and it is suggested that Plato was Marqah's target when Marqah attacks the idea that God used a model. Marqah's account of the ac? of creation, seen as an act of divine will, is examined. His acceptance of miracles is discussed, and Is squared with his idea that the systematicity of the world testifies to the oneness of God.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PI Oriental languages and literatures