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The status of the world : rochdian creationism and peripatetic eternalism

Benhabid, Ahmed


Ahmed Benhabid


Daniel Mariau


In this thesis, we aim to explore whether the world is eternal or created through the eyes of the Hellenes and especially Aristotle and the Muslim theologians led by Ibn Rochd. Such exploration would be a sort of comparative study between religion and philosophy, and we do mean by religion here the monotheistic tenets represented by the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam and we do mean by philosophy, mainly the ancient wisdom presented by the Greek philosophers. No one would deny that the doctrine of the eternity of the world is a complex doctrine, as there is a sort of overlap between all the subjects discussed within it. In other words, these subjects are themselves doctrines inside the main doctrine, which is the eternity of the world. This overlap is obvious when we raise subjects like the architecture of the cosmos, the basic elements that the world is made up of, God's existence, God-world relationship, eternity of time and motion and the immortality of the soul. When we do look at all these topics, the first idea that jumps into our mind is the big convergence between all these topics, in the sense that the discussion of one of them entails the discussion of the other one in some way or another. In the middle of all these discussions, it is vital to raise the pluralist and monistic theories, the plurality of the worlds theory, Ibn Sina's necessary existent theory, Ibn Rochd's principle of corruptibility and Socrates' doctrine of the individuality and the transmigration of souls. Likewise, we have to raise Plotinus' theory of emanation, Aristotle's doctrine of the coeternity of matter and God, the theory of substance and the theory of hylomorphism. After the exhibition of all these divergent stances and different views of the nature and the last fate of our astonishing universe, the result that we do come out with is that there is no opposition between philosophy and religion, as they are two different disciplines using different mental tools to achieve the same goals. Hence, the revealed materials can support the philosophical findings and vice versa. Revelation only interferes when philosophy fails to explain unseen phenomena or supernatural occurrences. That is why, the eternity of the world doctrine can never be well understood without the combination of what is religious and what is philosophical. The Holy Scriptures themselves do address the human mind and urge it to use reason and the weapon of observation and contemplation to achieve a better understanding of all incidents and events occurring around human beings. This compatibility between religion and philosophy in particular and all sciences in general was the magnum opus of Ibn Rochd who elaborated his doctrine of the agreement between religion and philosophy and passed it on to Western Scholasticism.


Benhabid, A. (2009). The status of the world : rochdian creationism and peripatetic eternalism. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Humanities
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Humanities, The University of Hull
Award Date Mar 1, 2009


Thesis (7.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2009 Benhabid, Ahmed. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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