An examination of Richard Martin’s opinions regarding incarnation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor in University of Tehran

2 Ph.d Student in University of Tehran


It is an undeniable necessity for Muslims to deeply understand the Orientalists’ opinions regarding Islamic knowledge and to scientifically scrutinize their viewpoints. To this end, the present writer has tried to examine Martin’s opinions regarding incarnation. The research method in this project is library research, while the adopted approach is an analytic-critical one. However, this does not mean that no use has been made of the descriptive methods. Although the focus of analysis has been on examination of Martin’s viewpoints regarding incarnation, but to complement the study, the opinions of the Islamic scholars have been used wherever needed. In the eyes of Martin, belief in the corporeality of God in some Islamic sects has resulted from their superficial perceptions about Quranic descriptions regarding the corporeality of God. He believes that the discussion over Divine Attributes dates back to the second quarter of the second century after Hegira. Examination of Martin’s opinions about incarnation reveals his extensive investigation of Islamic resources. However, the major mistakes he has committed show that he has not had access to all valid Islamic resources – especially the Shiite resources – or hasn’t been aware of them. Due to his one-sided reference to Sunni resources, Martin has ignored to pay attention to Shiite school opinions regarding incarnation.