Category: News

The Call for Applications for the 2021 Online Summer School is now open!!

This year the topic is “The Doctrine of the Universal Man (al-insān al-kāmil) in Ibn ʻArabī and His Heirs”. The 2021 edition will take place in the form of online seminars, from 26th to 31st July, and will represent a unique opportunity to listen to different scholars and discuss with them the doctrine of al-insān al-kāmil. The “Universal Man” or, as some would translate it, the “Perfect Human”, is one of the fundamental and main topics of Ibn ʻArabī’s teachings, if not the main one, and one which has influenced all subsequent generations of Muslim mystics and intellectuals.
Every lecture will address a different aspect of the teachings of the Shaykh al-Akbar and his followers, from the context in which Ibn ʻArabī emerged in al-Andalus to the technical terminology he used in his works and the way it was later systematized by the following authors.

Here you can get more information.

Lexical Derivation (ištiqāq) as Hermeneutic Dimension in Ibn Arabi’s Works

Pablo Beneito (University of Murcia, Spain)

The Arabic alphabet (abjad) combines the symbolic keys of the sciences of letters and numbers. In this presentation we will address a third fundamental hermeneutic dimension linked to letters: lexical interference. The science of ištiqāq, or morphosemantic derivation, explores the original meanings and images of the basic forms of Arabic lexical roots and their analogy with meanings and images of the derived forms. That is an essential element of Akbarian hermeneutics: moreover  to distinguish between the various modalities and implications of interference bears an essential importance in order to understand Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought, since each single term in his writings, refers, among other things, to this dimension of the providential language of the Arabic revelation.

Online 2020

The Written World of God. The Science of the Letters in the Works of Ibn ‘Arabī

Dunja Rašić (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Apart from God, Ibn ʿArabī believed, a man can speak, an angel can speak and a djinn can speak. However, human beings were the only ones with a potential to come to terms with the secret properties of letters. The science of letters (ar. ʿilm al-ḥurūf) represents one of the central elements of Ibn ʿArabī’s teachings. Until today, it also tends to be perceived as one of the most abstruse ones. This lecture will give an overview of Ibn ʿArabī’s notions on the science of the letters and the symbolical interpretation of the letters of the Arabic alphabet in his works.

Online 2020

The Multiple Single Face of the Third Thing according to Ibn ‘Arabī

Sandra Benato (Federal University of São Paulo, Brasil)

Much has been said, in the work of Ibn ‘Arabī, about the meeting of the two seas, the union of the opposites and barzakh – the imaginal state between yes and no. This ambiguity is often taken as related to the “third thing” that, despite indefinable, is experienced, and implies in the existence of the Real. As the experience is renewed at every instant, the names of this third thing are many, depending on the point of view (‘ayn) we live our reality.

Our intention here is to search for the interconnection of those names in the experience of self, under the ineffable guidance of this third element’s attraction force.

Online 2020

The notion of Sanctity in the Shaykh al-Akbar

Paolo Urizzi

Perennia Verba

Sanctity (walāya) is the gateway to closeness to God. According to Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, it includes two categories of individuals: those who approach God through effort (jahd) and those who approach Him through the grace of divine attraction (jadhba). Besides being the early theorist of sanctity, Tirmidhi is also the first to introduce the controversial notion of the function of the “Seal of Saints”. A few centuries later, Ibn ‘Arabī resumed and expanded Tirmidhī’s positions on the subject and ordered them around the main axis of the idea of “prophetic inheritance”. At the same time he made of the function of “Seal of Saints” an enigmatic theme that for centuries has inflamed to the present day the most intellectual circles of Sufism.

Online 2020

Qūnawī: the disciple son

Patrizia Spallino

Università di Palermo

This lesson will be centered on the figure of Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qunāwī, his life, experiences and personality in relation with his reference figure and adoptive father, the Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn al-ʻArabī. The focus will be on his works and the main themes of his thought, which are in close relation with akbarian elaborations of metaphysical and cosmological doctrines. More specifically, we will give a close look at some passages of the correspondency about philosophical and Sufi topics between al-Qunāwī and another fundamental figure of the time, Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī.

Online 2020

In the Master’s Hand: an overview of Ibn ʻArabī’s written works

Stephen Hirtenstein

Muhiyddin Ibn Arabi Society

Ibn ʻArabī is of course well known for his prodigious literary output, but how many books did he write? Which texts are authentic? How many have survived? This talk will give an overview of his major works, their contents and the way they have survived to the present day, in manuscript copies and printed editions, and some of the problems faced by modern researchers. We will also explore his unique method and purpose in writing, and what implications this might have for his readers.

ʻAfīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī and the Akbarian tradition

Yousef Casewit

University of Chicago Divinity School

The North African Sufi poet and author, ʻAfīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī (d. 1291), was one of the leading pupils of Ibn ʻArabī and Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī. His highly original commentary on the divine names represents an early engagement with the writings of his two teachers. In this talk, Yousef Casewit explores the major themes in Tilimsānī’s thought including his notion of the Four Journeys to God and methods of spiritual training (tarbiya) in his writings.

Online 2020

Unity of Being and Unicity of Existence. The concept of wujūd in Sufi metaphysics

Alberto Ventura

Università della Calabria

The expression Waḥdat al-wujūd has been translated variously in modern European languages, creating a certain confusion about the real meaning in which the phrase is to be understood. Sometimes waḥdat is rendered as “Unicity” and sometimes as “Unity”; the translation of wujūd, on the other end, varies from “Being” to “Existence”. This lesson will try to clarify the matter, exploring the various meanings of the terms in the different contexts in which they are addressed. At the same time, this will be useful to fully understand the related problems of Unity and Multiplicity, Being and Non-Being, Wujūd and Shuhūd.

Online 2020

Muhammad as the Universal Mediator

Luca Patrizi

University of Exeter

The doctrine of Universal Intermediation (wasīlawāsiṭa) of Muḥammad towards God, particularly on the Day of the Judgment, is widely attested in the primary sources of Islam. Together with the practice of intercession (shafā‘atawassulistighātha) from which it derives, it represents the main point of differentiation and controversy between Sunni and Shi‘i doctrine and Reformism in Islam. In Islamic esotericism, this doctrine is the object of a metaphysical interpretation closely connected to the reality of Muḥammad as Insān Kāmil. The attributes of Muḥammad as the Universal Mediator as described in the primary sources, namely his rank on the Day of the Judgment, the maqām maḥmūd, and his direct management of the celestial cistern that will quench the thirst of the blessed (ḥawd),  received a specific cosmological and esoteric interpretation in Sufi literature, particularly in the Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya. The main esoteric interpretation identifies Muḥammad with the God’s cupbearer, who distributes the luminous divine drink that leads to spiritual intoxication, whose real nature is nothing more than the nūr al-muḥammadiyya

Online 2020