The Community of the Biographical Dictionary: Qādī Iyād’s Ghunya

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Qādī Iyād’s (d. 1149) Ghunya is a biographical dictionary of the scholars the Ceutan jurist studied with and an inventory of the texts he acquired through various modes of transmission. As a catalogue of authors, teachers, and texts, al-Ghunya describes a network of scholarship contemporary with the rise and fall of Almoravid rule, and a history of learning that extends back to the earliest days of Islam. The essay demonstrates the importance of scholarly lineages and how they overlapped with lineal and marital bonds and explores the affective dimension of scholarly affiliations, focusing on the text as an expression of community and a work of memory. The ways in which the text reflects and reinforces a metaphorical “kinship of learning” contributes to our understanding of social cohesion in the Almoravid era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-420
Number of pages20
JournalMedieval Encounters
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language

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