IMAGINAL WORLDS Ibn al-‘Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity
IMAGINAL WORLDS Ibn al-`Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity William C. Chittick Ibn ‘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 `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 `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 conceptualise the study of world religions in a contemporary context. *** “Imaginal Worlds is an excellent summary and a solid interpretation of Ibn al-`Arabi’s teachings.” —Gerhard Bowering, Yale University
William C. Chittick
William C. Chittick received his education in the US. He holds a PhD in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran. He taught comparative religion in the humanities department at Aryamehr Technical University in Tehran and, for a short period before the revolution, was assistant professor at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He has served as Assistant Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica at the Columbia University for three years. He has been Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook from 1983 to 1991 where he presently holds the post of the Professor of Comparative Studies. A greatly respected scholar, he has studied Sufism in theory and practice, and has written and translated widely about its various manifestations.
He has published numerous articles and books, among them, A Shi`ite Anthology; Imaginal Worlds; Faith and Practice of Islam; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-Arabi 's Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; The Vision of Islam, The Heart of Islamic Philosophy and Me and Rumi—The Autobiography of Shams i Tabtki; Ibn Arabi— Heir to the Prophets; The Self Disclosures of God.
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