International Conference: Philosophy and Mysticism in the Islamic World – 07th-08th July 2022
07th – 08th July, 2022
The Moroccan intellectual Mohammed Abed al-Jabri believed that philosophy became established in the Western part of the Islamic world mainly through Ibn Rushd. Philosophy, he said, was an intellectual struggle against the irrational elements, and by this he also meant an Eastern way of thinking, an irrational mindset, which he traced back to Ibn Sīnā and the Iranian “esoteric wisdom”. Henry Corbin, on the other hand, considers this Oriental wisdom to be the true philosophy of Islam. According to Kurt Flasch, Islamic thought formed all variants “which are possible between natural science and philosophical mysticism”.
Despite methodological differences between philosophy and mysticism, both strive to reach the highest knowledge. In terms of the history of ideas, Islamic philosophy is to be understood as an attempt to live in accordance with wisdom. Within this framework, mysticism and philosophy become two modes of cognition whose interplay helps transform intuitive experience into rational statements and makes rational statements practical for life. They shape a kind of wisdom for a self-confident, self-controlling and self-liberating “art of living”. The theoretical knowledge works thereby as “spiritual exercise” and the practical meditation as “spiritual contemplation”. Knowledge and practice, insight and meditation, knowledge and therapy are, thus, closely connected.
On the conference “Philosophy and Mysticism in the Islamic World”, the relationship of both areas of human cognition and way of life will be examined on the basis of concrete examples from the Islamic intellectual history. It will be shown in which way philosophy and mysticism are connected and where the border of this connection lies. Thereby, the bond which connects the different approaches and developments of knowledge will be searched for.