A Report on Graduate Work in Qom on the Problems of Essence/Attribute and Substance/Accident

Narjes Javandel Soumeahsaraei


Graduate work at the University of Qom in philosophy, Islamic theology, Islamic Studies, and Qur’an Studies, is done at the University campus (UQ) and at its off-campus graduate center which was formerly the Teacher Training College of Qom (Tarbiyat Modarres, TB). From 1990 to 2005, 565 M.A. and Ph.D. dissertations have been successfully defended in the above-mentioned fields. Of these dissertations, forty-six pertain to the essence/attribute distinction (focusing on the divine essence and attributes), and related issues about what are referred to in Islamic theology as “the divine names.” Another seven dissertations were written about substance/accident, all of which focus on the issue of “substantial motion,” which has been prominent in Islamic philosophy since the seventeenth century. In what follows, I will briefly introduce the discussions and topics of some of these dissertations. Although the number of dissertations on essence/attribute is greater than those on substance/accident, I will provide brief summaries of each of the substance/accident dissertations because of pertinence to this workshop. This follows a general discussion of the essence/attribute distinction in Shi‘ite theology, and a categorized list of the dissertations on this topic.


20th century philosophy; metaphysics; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; accident; attribute; essence; Iranian philosophy; Islamic philosophy; metaphysics; substance

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