Sufism and Philosophy: Historical Interactions and Crosspollinations. Conference
From the mystical strains in the writings of Avicenna and Ibn Ṭufayl to the philosophical Sufism of Ibn ʿArabī’s school, the encounter between Islamic mysticism and philosophy has produced a rich nexus of mutual influence and rapprochement, as well as polemical engagement and debate.
Despite the extent and significance of such interactions, modern scholars in the fields of Sufism and Islamic philosophy alike have often been reluctant to venture beyond the conventional boundaries of their respective disciplines and investigate the links that tie Sufi thought to the philosophical traditions of the Muslim world. The aim of this conference is to provide a forum for a cross-disciplinary exploration and re-examination of the relationship between Sufism and philosophy. Key discussion-points include: A) Sufism’s reception of ancient and late antique philosophical traditions. When did this process begin, how did it manifest itself, and through which channels did it occur? B) Falsafa’s interaction with classical Sufism. What impact did the mystical aspects of Avicenna’s thought have on the subsequent development of Islamic philosophy? Have such aspects been over-emphasized or under-estimated? C) ‘Philosophical Sufism’ in the post-classical era. How apt is this label? To what extent did the members of Ibn ʿArabī’s school adopt or engage with theories propounded by al-Fārābī, Avicenna, Suhrawardī or the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ?
Confirmed speakers include:
- Mohammed Rustom (Carleton University/New York University Abu Dhabi)
- Cyrus Ali Zargar (University of Central Florida).