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The Philosophy of Illumination [Hardcover]

Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi , John Walbridge , Hossein Ziai
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2000 0842524576 978-0842524575 1st
Shihäb al-Din al-Suhrawardi was born around 1154, probably in northwestern Iran. Spurred by a dream in which Aristotle appeared to him, he rejected the Avicennan Peripatetic philosophy of his youth and undertook the task of reviving the philosophical tradition of the "Ancients."

Suhruwardi's philosophy grants an epistemological role to immediate and atemporal intuition. It is explicitly anti-Peripatetic and is identified with the pre-Aristotelian sages, particularly Plato. The subject of his hikmat al-Ishraq—now available for the first time in English—is the "science of lights," a science that Suhrawardi first learned through mystical exercises reinforced later by logical proofs and confirmed by what he saw as the parallel experiences of the Ancients. It was completed on 15 September 1186; and at sunset that evening, in the western sky, the sun, the moon, and the five visible planets came together in a magnificent conjunction in the constellation of Libra. The stars soon turned against Suhrawardi, however, who was reluctantly put to death by the son of Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, in 1191.

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Arabic (translation)
Original Language: Arabic

About the Author

John Walbridge is professor of Near Eastern languages and cultures at Indiana University Bloomington.

Product Details

  • Series: Brigham Young University - Islamic Translation Series
  • Hardcover: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Young University; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842524576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842524575
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #844,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Effort April 24, 2001
By A Customer
This is a really fascinating book, albeit a difficult one, from a very unusual thinker. I'm absolutely delighted -- and more than a bit surprised -- that Brigham Young University Press has launched this series of translations, because we in the West know so very little about Islam and Islamic civilization. I recommend this volume to anybody interested in Islam, Islamic philosophy, mysticism, medieval history, or even Platonism.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy of illumination April 8, 2005
This is a magnificient effort. Dr Ziai's efforts with this and his other translations are very generous and clear. This is a major work by an important medieval philosopher. Although I'm not a specialist in Persian or Islamic thought this book gives me confidence that the textual terminology is translated in all its richness and specific rigor. This is a good book for the general reader of philosophy and stands apart from so much new age rubbish written about Sufism. The book is handsomely produced, beautifully designed, and very reasonably priced. I think anyone thinking of the future and with a wit to buying important editions of major philosophical texts shouldn't think twice about acquiring it. This is also a good book for students of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, for reasons that will be clear upon reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I gave this book a five because I found something I was looking for in the text. The book as a whole is Peripetetic Jibberish, sprinkled with extreme logic and critical thinking. It does, however, have two sentences that I found rather Illuminating. lol

I've found through my reading that Al-Suhrawardi was a very kind and spiritual person. If I had to guess, I'd say this book was written by either one or many people other than Suhrawardi, with the addition of two sentences by Suhrawardi.

On the surface, it seems to me that if someone understood this book and the completely new paradigm it suggests, they would have a very clear mind and an even better heart!
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Work Translated with bias July 18, 2007
By P. Nagy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The translators of this important Work do almost everything in their power to demythologize and empiricist this works mystical and visionary thrust with Aristotelian bias. Still because we have Corbin's commentary we can read against this bias and not let the academics bamboozle us.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb November 24, 2009
By S Man
I have not finished the book yet, but Mulla Sadra's writings have opened my further and removed a few more veils from my understanding.
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