THE SELF-DISCLOSURE OF GOD
Principles of Ibn al-`Arabi’s Cosmology William C. Chittick
The Self-Disclosure of God continues the author’s investigations of the world view of Ibn aljArabi, the greatest theoretician of Sufism and the “seal of the Muhammadan saints”. The book is divided into three parts, dealing with the relation between God and the cosmos, the structure of the cosmos and the nature of the human soul. A long introduction orients the reader and discusses a few of the difficulties faced by Ibn al-`Arabi’s interpreters. Like Chittick’s earlier wprk, The Sufi Path of Knowledge, this book is based on Ibn al-`Arabi’s monumental work, Al-Futuhlit al-Makkryah “The Meccan Opening”. More than one hundred chapters and subsections are translated, not to mention shorter passages that help put the longer discussions in context. This is the type of work that many will refer to as a tour de force. Among its other accomplishments, it represents a painstaking reading, translation, and analysis of a major Muslim Arab thinker of notoriously intimidating erudition and subtlety. Best of all it is clear and comprehensible without sacrificing sophistication and precision. The Self-Disclosure of God offers the most detailed presentation to date in any Western language of the basic teachings of Islam’s greatest mystical philosopher and theologian. It represents a major step forward in making available to the Western reading public the enormous riches of Islamic teaching in the fields of cosmology, mystical philosophy, theology; and spirituality.