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(4,579 words)

Author(s): Gregor Schwarb
1.   Definition, Terminology The term  Kalām (Ar. speculative reasoning) is a generic name for doctrinal, speculative theology— i.e., the theoretical science of the fundamental doctrines of religion (Ar. uṣūl al-dīn)—in Arabic Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It is theoretical reflection engaged in rationalizing and explaining the cognitive content of the symbolic language of religion and the nature of revelation, as well as its operation within the individual and its place and function within the community. The mutakallimūn (practitioners of Kalām) conceived this sci…

Yūsuf al-Baṣīr

(2,579 words)

Author(s): Gregor Schwarb
Abū Yaʿqūb Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm al-Baṣīr (Heb. Joseph ben Abraham ha-Roʾeh)  is one of the chief representatives of the Golden Age of Karaite Judaism in Jerusalem during the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. As a theologian ( mutakallim; see Kalām ) and authority on Karaite law, he made a major contribution to the efflorescence of the Jerusalem school of Karaite learning which exerted considerable influence over the communities of the Karaite diaspora and served as the foundation of Karaite literature and culture for generations. Owing to the absence of a detailed account of…