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Imaginal Worlds
Ibn al-'Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity
Imaginal Worlds
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William C. Chittick - Author
SUNY series in Islam
N/A
Hardcover - 216 pages
Release Date: October 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-2249-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2249-6

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 216 pages
Release Date: October 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-2250-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2250-2

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In this book Chittick explains Ibn al-Arabi's concept of human perfection, his World of Imagination, and his teachings on why God's wisdom demands diversity of religious expression. He then suggests how these teachings can be employed to conceptualize 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

Ibn al-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 al-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 al-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 conceptualize the study of world religions in a contemporary context.

William C. Chittick is Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author of Faith and Practice of Islam; A Shi'ite Anthology; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al- Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination; and The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; all published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I. HUMAN PERFECTION

1. Oneness of Being

Divine Names and Human Perfection
Incomparability and Similarity

2. Microcosm, Macrocosm, and Perfect Man

The Goal of Creation
The Path to Perfection

3. Ethics and Antinomianism

Noble Character Traits
Blameworthy Character Traits

4. Self-Knowledge and the Original Human Disposition

The Nondelimitation of Wujud
Imaginal Consciousness
Self-Knowledge
The Unknown Station
Annihilation and Subsistence
Becoming Human

PART II. WORLDS OF IMAGINATION

5. Revelation and Poetic Imagery

The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq
Imagination
Reason and Self-Disclosure
The Revelation of Similitudes
Witnessing the Loci of Vision

6. Meetings with Imaginal Men

Discerning Imaginal Realities
Varieties of Imaginal Perception
Imaginal Men

7. Death and the Afterlife

Revelation and Reason
The Isthmus after Death
The Unfolding of the Soul
The Next World
Inside/Outside
The Garden and the Fire
The Cooling of the Fire

PART III. RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY

8. A Myth of Origins

The Koranic View of Revelation
The Divine Names and the Origins of Religion
Chapter 66

9. Diversity of Belief

The Roots of Belief
The Two Commands
Paths to God
Equilibrium
The Marks of Belief
Nondelimited Belief
The Circle of Religious Diversity

10. The Divine Roots of Religion

Gods of Belief
Rational Investigation
Names and Knottings
The Divine Form
All and Nothing
Prophecy and Guidance
Providential Limitations
Appreciating Knots

Notes

Bibliography

Index of Sources

Index of Koranic Verses

Index of Hadiths and Sayings

Index of Names and Terms


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