Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies


Dana Hollander




This thesis uses Leo Strauss' analysis of Ibn Rushd's Decisive Treatise as an analytic framework to approach the Decisive Treatise anew and consider the political and philosophical importance of Ibn Rushd's argument about the relationship between reason and revelation. Using primary source documents in English, Arabic, French, and German, this thesis proposes that, by returning to Ibn Rushd' s text, the reader can develop a richer understanding of (1) the role of the philosopher in politics, according to Ibn Rushd, and (2) some of the complicated differences between the Islamic thought of Ibn Rushd and the Jewish thought of Maimonides as presented by Leo Strauss. This thesis offers an analysis of Strauss' reading of Ibn Rushd, a reading long overlooked by readers of Strauss and readers of Ibn Rushd alike. It provides the foundation for further research that will demonstrate the importance of Ibn Rushd' s thought, both for Islamic philosophy in general and for Leo Strauss specifically.

McMaster University Library

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Religion Commons