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The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn Al-'Arabi's Cosmology (Suny Series in Islam) (Suny Series, Islam) Paperback – December 30, 1997
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Chittick has refined his way of translating Ibn al-Arabi s terminology to a high degree of perfection. Gerhard Bowering, Yale University
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. R. Kevin Lacey, State University of New York, Binghamton"
About the Author
William C. Chittick is Professor of Comparative Studies at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has published numerous books, among them, Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity; Faith and Practice of Islam: Three Thirteenth-Century Sufi Texts; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-Arabi s Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; and A Shi ite Anthology, all published by SUNY Press."
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Top Customer Reviews
Chittick is refining the art of translating Ibn Arabi. Unlike other medieval Arabic texts that are more or less straightforward -- hence translatable -- Ibn Arabi is an exception. The anti-systematic nature of his thought compounded by its deep interconnection with the Arabic language renders translations almost impossible.
The Great Shaikh's hermeneutics of Islamic Scripture (the Koran and Prophetic traditions) is at once mystical and linguistic. Mystical through kashf, (lit. 'unveiling,' a type of spiritual opening to knowledge), and linguistic through retracing each Divinely revealed word to its etymological root. To a reader unfamiliar with either mystical philosophy or classical Arabic, understanding Ibn Arabi can be excrutiatingly difficult. A natural response is to question the source of Ibn Arabi's radically subversive worldview.
Taking these factors into consideration, Chittick should be commended in undertaking a task so academically daunting that it prevented even an Orientalist of R.A. Nicholson's repute from publishing his own translations.
Chittick is meticulous in his translations and tries to be loyal to both the literal and implied meanings of technical Arabic words. He introduces each translated section with a brief summary to acquaint the reader what s/he is about encounter, simplifying the complexity of the passage and contexualising it within the (fluid) framework of Ibn Arabi's nondualistic ontology.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I find Ibne' Al-Arabi a bit too serious about this whole thing. I don't think God meant for the religion to be as serious as we have taken it. Read morePublished on April 11, 2001