Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-'Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity

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SUNY Press - Religion - 208 pages
In this book Chittick explains Ibn al-Arabi's concept of human perfection, his World of Imagination, and his teachings on why God's wisdom demands diversity of religious expression. He then suggests how these teachings can be employed to conceptualize the study of world religions in a contemporary context.

Ibn al-Arabi, known as the "Greatest Master,"is the most influential Muslim thinker of the past 600 years. This book is an introduction to his thought concerning the ultimate destiny of human beings, God and the cosmos, and the reasons for religious diversity. It summarizes many of Ibn al-Arabi's teachings in a simple manner. The ideas discussed are explained in detail.

The book is divided into three parts. In the first part Chittick explains Ibn al-Arabi's concept of human perfection; in the second part he looks at various implications of the World of Imagination; and in the third part he exposes Ibn al-Arabi's teachings on why God's wisdom demands diversity of religious expression, and he suggests how these teachings can be employed to conceptualize the study of world religions in a contemporary context.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Oneness of Being
15
Microcosm Macrocosm and Perfect Man
31
Ethics and Antinomianism
39
SelfKnowledge and the Original Human Disposition
51
Revelation and Poetic Imagery
67
Meetings with Imaginal Men
83
Death and the Afterlife
97
A Myth of Origins
123
Diversity of Belief
137
The Divine Roots of Religion
161
Notes
177
Index of Sources
191
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About the author

William C. Chittick is Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author of Faith and Practice of Islam; A Shi'ite Anthology; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al- Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination; and The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; all published by SUNY Press.

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