Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts
In this deeply learned work, Toshihiko Izutsu compares the metaphysical and mystical thought-systems of Sufism and Taoism and discovers that, although historically unrelated, the two share features and patterns which prove fruitful for a transhistorical dialogue. His original and suggestive approach opens new doors in the study of comparative philosophy and mysticism.
Izutsu begins with Ibn 'Arabi, analyzing and isolating the major ontological concepts of this most challenging of Islamic thinkers. Then, in the second part of the book, Izutsu turns his attention to an analysis of parallel concepts of two great Taoist thinkers, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. Only after laying bare the fundamental structure of each world view does Izutsu embark, in the final section of the book, upon a comparative analysis. Only thus, he argues, can he be sure to avoid easy and superficial comparisons. Izutsu maintains that both the Sufi and Taoist world views are based on two pivots--the Absolute Man and the Perfect Man--with a whole system of oncological thought being developed between these two pivots. Izutsu discusses similarities in these ontological systems and advances the hypothesis that certain patterns of mystical and metaphysical thought may be shared even by systems with no apparent historical connection.
This second edition of Sufism and Taoism is the first published in the United States. The original edition, published in English and in Japan, was prized by the few English-speaking scholars who knew of it as a model in the field of comparative philosophy. Making available in English much new material on both sides of its comparison, Sufism and Taoism richly fulfills Izutsu's motivating desire "to open a new vista in the domain of comparative philosophy."
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Preface by T Izutsu
Dream and Reality
The Absolute in its Absoluteness
The Selfknowledge of Man
Metaphysical Unification and Phenomenal
The Shadow of the Absolute
The Divine Names
Man as Microcosm
Apostle Prophet and Saint
LaoTzu and ChuangTzu
Dream and Reality
Beyond This and That
Determinism and Freedom
Allah and the Lord
The Water of Life
Absolute Reversal of Values
The Perfect Man
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Abso Absolute according activity actually al-Qashani Allah Apostle appears Ash'arites aspect Attributes basic becomes breath called chapter concept concrete Confucian Confucius consciousness cosmic creation creatures described determined distinction Divine Names dream Essence essential eternal everything existence experience fact Fur,p ghayb goes Heaven and Earth highest himmah human ibid Ibn Arabi imagination individual infinitely inner kind knower knowledge Kuo Hsiang Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu latter locus Lord lute manifests means Mercy metaphysical mind mirror Muhammad Mystery mystical nature Noah Non-Being Non-Doing object ontological ordinary original particular passage peculiar Perfect permanent archetypes phenomenal world philosophical position preparedness present problem Prophet qada qadar reality Reason refers regard relation sacred sense shamanic spiritual stage structure Sufism symbolic tajalli tanzih Tao Te Ching Taoist tashbih taskhir theophany thousand things tion transcends truth ultimate Unity vicegerent Virtue walayah whole world word world-view