Upcoming Worldwide Events and Symposiums
While the coronavirus pandemic is causing the postponement of symposia and seminars, there has been a flourishing of online lectures and courses.
• “The Hidden Treasure”
introductory online seminars by the Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University, Australia.
• Online courses
such as “In each thing He has a sign”, developed by MIAS Education
Online talks in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian
18 February 2023 – 11 March 2023
“Opening the shells of the two sapphires”
This is a course of four two-hour sessions on consecutive Saturdays between 18 February and 11 March, 2023. The course is offered on behalf of the Ibn ‘Arabi Society by Dr Shu’ayb Eric Winkel and the MIAS Education Team. The meetings start at 9:00 AM London time and end at 11:00 AM.
“Plunging into the ocean of Ibn Arabi: Opening the shells of the two sapphires”: We open the shells to find the two sapphires, wherever we are, to honour our experiences. In this journey, we commence with the participants’ stories, experiences and questions and open The Openings Revealed in Makkah to discuss together.
“It happened to me during my beginning – and one is actually only at the beginning; and as for the end, it is something you are carried to without really understanding.” (Ibn Arabi, The Openings Revealed in Makkah/Futuhat, Chapter 92, Book 13)
This course is suitable for anyone who has an interest in Sufism in general, and in Ibn ‘Arabi in particular. No previous knowledge of Ibn ‘Arabi’s writings is needed, though it is helpful.
Since 2012, Shu’ayb Eric Winkel has been translating The Openings Revealed in Makkah, the first-ever translation and commentary of the Futuhat, envisioned as 19 volumes, published by Pir Press. Parallel to this work, Shu’ayb is collaborating with communities to expand into new directions, including translations of An Illustrated Guide to Ibn Arabi, children’s books, poetry, grammars and glossaries for Ibn ‘Arabi, and visual and creative artworks conveying the message of the Futuhat.
To book for this course, which has a maximum of 20 participants, please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/opening-the-shells-of-the-two-sapphires-tickets-529245175567
Looking forward in 2023
A listing of some future online and face-to-face events in 2023, taken from the Bulletin sent to Society members in December 2022. Check here for more details as they become available.
MIAS UK online events
- Dunja Rašić – MIAS Online Seminar 1: 18 March, 2023
- Dia Barghouti – IRH Presentation Forum 1: 6 May, 2023
- Grégory Vandamme – MIAS Online Seminar 2: 24 June, 2023
- Symposium at Columbia University, New York, October 2023
MIAS for Arabic speakers, online
- Samir Akkach – 18 February, 2023
- 10 June, 2023. Conference in Torino. Provisional title: ‘Lingua sacra e ascolto spirituale in Ibn Arabi e la tradizione sufi’.
Speakers: Federico Salvaggio, Luca Patrizi and Giovanni De Zorzi.
Format: 3 talks on the subjects of linguistics, sama’a and music, followed by a concert.
Venue: San Pietro in Vincoli, Torino.
18 February 2023 | Online event
Monthly lectures for Arabic speakers
The series of lectures in Arabic which began in November 2022 continues in February 2023 with a talk by Professor Samer Akkach, The University of Adelaide. It is entitled “Reading Sufism with Reference to History of Science: Ibn ʿArabī’s Cosmology”.
Professor Samer Akkach
Samer Akkach is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Center for Architecture in Asia and the Middle East (CAMEA) at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Born and educated in Damascus before moving to Australia to complete his PhD at the University of Sydney. As an intellectual historian, Samer has devoted more than twenty years to the study of the mystical thought of Ibn Arabi and his intellectual legacy
A 12-month series of lectures
The is the fourth in the series of lectures organized by the recently formed Muhyiddin Ibn al ‘Arabi Society for Arabic Speakers. The aim of the series is to enhance and highlight knowledge of the thought and philosophy of Islamic mysticism, as well as creating an interactive platform between the Society, academic researchers and the general public. The lectures will be delivered by academics and researchers from East and West who specialise in Sufism, such as Dr Abdel Baqi Miftah from Algeria, Dr Abdel Jalil Salem from Tunisia, Dr Mohamed Amarech from Morocco and Dr Samer Akash from Syria. For more details of the series of lectures, please see the programme attached.
This Society was inaugurated at a meeting in Morocco in March 2022 at the University of Mohammad V in Rabat. Since then they have organized fortnightly reading sessions in Arabic and meet monthly to discuss society matters. Information about their aims and activities appears on the page of their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arabicibnarabi
Registration for this lecture
Attendance is free, but registration via this Eventbrite page will be necessary https://www.eventbrite.com/e/534354186757
For further information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some events from 2022
December 15 and 16 2022
Ibn ‘Arabi events in Brazil
Two events to do with Ibn ‘Arabi will take place in Brazil in December 2022.
On 15 December there will be presentations under the title “The Thought of Ibn ‘Arabi and the Persian World”, at the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. The speakers will be Cecilia Twinch and Pablo Beneito.
It is part of the five-day long “Encontro de Saberes”, and also marks the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Classical Persian Cultures, the result of cooperation agreements with the University of Tehran and Allameh Tabataba’i University.
On 16 December there will be a full day event at the PUC Minas (Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais) in Belo Horizonte under the title “I Simpósio de Mística Islâmica – Ao encontro de Ibn Arabi: receptividade e criatividade” (Meeting Ibn Arabi: receptivity and creativity).
Talks live-streamed on the YouTube channel of the Religious Sciences department can be seen here. https://www.youtube.com/@ppgcrpucminas3704
Speakers in the morning include Carlos Frederico, Pablo Beneito, Rodrigo Nogueira Martins, Sandra Benato and Fabrizio Boscaglia, and in the afternoon, Cecilia Twinch, Richard Twinch, Mário Werneck and Faustino Teixeira. Download the programme here.
November 2022 | Announcement of Winner
First MIAS Translation Prize Competition
This is a key text, combining Ibn ‘Arabi’s primary function as a Quran commentator and his treatment of lettrist, astrological and imperial themes, thereby giving us a window into important dimensions of Ibn ‘Arabi’s early modern reception and legacy. The prize committee was impressed with the degree of Professor Melvin-Koushki’s control over the text, his technical finesse and accuracy in translation, and the literary beauty of the English translation which does justice to the complexity and poetic flair of the original Arabic. The Prize was awarded by unanimous agreement of the judges.
The prize of US$ 3,000 was jointly sponsored by the Ibn ‘Arabi Societies in the UK and the USA, by MIAS AP (Australia Pacific), the Monash Ibn Arabi Initiative IAI, Australia, and by private donors.
19th-20th November 2022 | Online event
Ibn Arabi, receptivity and the idea of the feminine
The Society presents four online seminars under the title Ibn Arabi, receptivity and the idea of the feminine over the weekend November 19th and 20th, 2022. We hope that the timetable will enable members and friends worldwide to attend as many talks as possible.
Shu’ayb Eric Winkel: The half-door and Salma’s house: the architecture of love
Saturday 19th November at 10.00 GMT (London time)
Jane Clark: Receptivity, activity and gender in Ibn Arabi’s work
Saturday 19th November at 18.00 GMT (London time)
Cecilia Twinch: Julian of Norwich: All manner of things shall be well
Sunday 20th November at 10.00 GMT (London time)
Gracia López Anguita: Divine ‘writing’ and the feminine in Ibn Arabi
Sunday 20th November at 18.00 GMT (London time)
Artwork depicting Ibn Arabi and Fatima bint al-Muthanna
by Antonella Leoni
‘I am your spiritual mother, and the light of your earthly mother’.
Antonella’s artwork was created in response to this quotation from the Futuhat and the title of our weekend. A video of the artwork will be shown on the Society’s website during the weekend.
Shu’ayb Eric Winkel
Shu’ayb explains: ‘with Ibn Arabi, if one hasn’t visualised or seen a picture, imaged in the imagination, of what he is talking about, one hasn’t yet understood him. In my work translating and elucidating The Openings Revealed in Makkah, I depend entirely on Divine grace.
In my talk we will look at a double door of a temple, or home, and follow Ibn Arabi’s insights into and behind the half-door. We will then consider Salma’s house and the walls of Salma’s house, in a poem, and Ibn Arabi’s own poetry around the imagery. We then connect these images to the all-important hadith qudsi: ‘The heavens and the Earth are not vastly spacious enough for Me, but the heart of My slave who is someone faithful is.’ We contemplate the vista of the heart to prepare ourselves for our own view of the architecture of love, insha’Allah.’
Since 2012, Shu’ayb has been translating The Opening Revealed in Makkah, the first continuous translation of and commentary on the Futuhat, envisioned as 19 volumes, published by Pir Press. Parallel to this work, Shu’ayb is collaborating with communities to expand into new directions, including translations of An Illustrated Guide to Ibn Arabi, childrens’ books, poetry, grammars and glossaries for Ibn Arabi, and visual and creative artworks conveying the message of the Futuhat.
Jane comments: ‘Ibn Arabi makes clear in his exposition that although he follows the common practice of denoting the spiritual qualities of receptivity and devotion as ‘feminine’ and qualities of action and creativity as ‘masculine’, he does not consider these to be necessarily associated with physical gender. In his own times, he was exceptional in including in his writings descriptions of the many women – teachers, family members and, in later life, students – he encountered on the spiritual path.
This paper will examine what he says about their qualities within the framework drawn from Meccan Revelations of two ‘modes’ of perfection: ‘ubudiyya (servanthood or devotion) and rujuliyya (manliness or spiritual activity).’
Jane is a Senior Research Fellow of the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society and has worked on the Society’s Archiving Project as well as looking after the library. She has been studying Ibn Arabi for more than forty years, and is engaged in teaching courses and lecturing on his thought both in the UK (including Oxford University and Temenos Academy) and abroad (including Egypt, Australia and the USA), and in research and translation of the Akbarian heritage. She has a particular interest in the correlation of Ibn Arabi’s thought with contemporary issues. She organises the MIAS Young Writers Award.
Cecilia explains: ‘Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love is the first work written in the English language which is known to have been authored by a woman. After briefly introducing Julian, this talk will look at some of the universal themes in her work which transcend the peculiar circumstances of her life and the teachings of the medieval Catholic Church. In a series of visions revealed at the point of death, Julian was shown the great mystery of God’s intimate love for His creation which led her to see the feminine aspect of the Divine as well as the masculine aspect. She became aware of a condition of peace and perfection beyond sin and suffering where “all is well”, while in a descent from that state to the created world of opposites, she understood that “all shall be well.” Those who are familiar with the themes in Ibn Arabi’s thought will see many echoes in what was revealed to Julian.’
Cecilia is a Senior Research Fellow of the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society, Oxford. She studied Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University. Besides working as a teacher, translator and editor, she has lectured on Ibn Arabi and mysticism worldwide since 1990. She has had numerous articles published, many as chapters in Spanish books and journals. Her publications include an English translation from the Arabic, with Pablo Beneito, of Ibn Arabi’s Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries and a new translation of Know yourself: An explanation of the oneness of being (Ibn Arabi/Balyani).
Gracia López Anguita
Gracia explains that: ‘Ibn Arabi often refers to the dynamics of creation and the events that take place as the result of the writing of the Pen (qalam) on the Tablet (lawh). The first element being male and the second – the place that receives the pen’s knowledge and renders it manifest – being female. This sacral approach to language, reflected in the Akbari view of Arabic grammar and developed in his treatises on the science of letters, reaches the Divine realm itself where the Divine Ipseity and Essence establish a masculine-feminine dialogue in which Arabic pronouns play a decisive role.’
Gracia is Lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Seville. She graduated in Arabic Philology from the University of Granada and subsequently joined the University of Seville as a pre-doctoral fellow, receiving her PhD in 2014 with a thesis on the treatise Uqlat al-mustawfiz by the Andalusian mystic Ibn Arabi, for which she was awarded the PhD dissertation prize by the University of Seville. She focuses her scientific activity and production on the thought of this master and his school, including the collective works Historia del Sufismo en Al-Andalus (Córdoba, 2009) and Ibn Arabi y su época (Seville, 2018).
Her recent research stays include Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran in 2018 and the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris in 2021, to which she returned as a visiting professor in 2022. She is currently part of the team of the research project of the University of Salamanca, financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and FEDER funds of the European Union: ‘Gender and holiness: religious experience and social role through the lives of women saints in northern Morocco’ (Tangier, Tetouan).
Antonella Leoni is an Italian artist living in Cairo who specialises in marbling techniques and Arabic calligraphy. Her artistic process developed in Egypt as a response to its cultures, both Islamic and ancient Pharaonic. Figures and letters emerge from the papyrus as it surfaces from the water creating a powerful and intensely colourful artistic universe: fantastic and at the same time rooted in history, with a mystical connotation that makes her works known for her imagination and contemplation of the Divine.
Antonella was awarded her Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art and the Arts of the Islamic World from Holloway University, London and the British Museum in 2003. In Milan she received her Masters in the Fine Arts of China Painting in 2010 and in 2019 she was awarded a Diploma in the Art of Arabic Calligraphy and Ornaments at the Academia Khalil Agha in Cairo.
Among her most recent international exhibitions are: the Biennial of Arabic Calligraphy in Sharja (2022); the ‘Al Azhar Al Sharif Forum for Arabic Calligraphy’ in Cairo (2022); the UNESCO Headquarter’s exhibition ‘Arabic language, a bridge between civilisations’ in Paris (2021); several Biennials of Arabic Calligraphy in Cairo; the ‘Italy, Cultures, Mediterranean’ Project in Jordan; other exhibitions in Belgium, Italy, Kuwait, Dubai and Sharjah. Her essays on the importance of preserving Arabic calligraphy were published in Art D’Égypte.
Attendance is free for current members of MIAS UK, MIAS USA and MIAS Latina. This does not include the MIAS Facebook Group. There is an admission fee of £16.00 + Eventbrite fee for non-members.
Please email email@example.com if you require further information.
September 2021 | Online talk
The Hidden Treasure Seminars
Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University, Australia
The last talk in the recent IAI Hidden Treasure series was delivered by Dr Eric Winkel, of the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society, USA, on Saturday 4 September 2021. The title of his talk was: “‘I am a Buried Treasure, Concealed (in you):’ Ibn Arabi’s Role in the (our) Discovery of the Treasure Chest (in our chests)”.
Like other talks in this series between September 2020 and September 2021, the video and audio recording is available at https://www.monash.edu/arts/Ibn-Arabi-Interreligious-Research-Initiative/media
A new series will start in 2022, and details will be posted here when available.
The Hidden Treasure online seminar series introduced Ibn Arabi, looking at his relevance to the contemporary world. It is organised by the Ibn Arabi Initiative (IAI) at Monash University. These seminars were open to the public and free, but it is necessary to register in advance.
2020 | Online talks
Online talks in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian
International Ibn Arabi Reading Circle 2020
In response to the period of confinement required by the pandemic, MIAS-Latina has organized video conferences under the title International Ibn Arabi Reading Circle 2020.
The sessions, lasting approximately an hour and a half, have taken place at 5:00 p.m. Madrid time, which is also convenient for American participants. They include an introduction (in Spanish, Italian or Portuguese), time for debate with the speaker, and time for open dialogue (in any of these three languages) among the attendees.
The first cycle of talks ran from April 22nd to July 26th, and covered a wide range of subjects. The second cycle of talks began on September 6th. The speakers include
- Alberto Ventura, October 4th (Cosenza, Italy), L’Epistola sull’Unificazione. Il tawhîd esoterico di Arslân di Damasco. Introduction: Demetrio Giordano.
- Antonio de Diego (Seville, Spain), October 18, Ibn Arabi y el sufismo contemporáneo. El caso de la tariqa Tijâniyya. Introduction: Paolo Urizzi.
Information about registration and details of all the previous talks can be found on the MIAS-Latina website: https://ibnarabisociety.es/index.php?pagina=34&lang=es [/]
See also the contribution by Pablo Beneito in June to the MIAS Blog: Reading Circles in MIAS Latina
2020 | About the online talks
Ibn ‘Arabi and The Geometry of Reality
This was a series of online talks organised by the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society in the UK, with different speakers paying tribute to the work of Michel Chodkiewicz and Keith Critchlow, two Honorary Fellows, who passed away earlier this year.
These talks had the form of ‘webinars’, with a presentation of 30-40 minutes, followed by up to one hour’s discussion with participants.
The first series began on May 9th with a talk by Stephen Hirtenstein, entitled The Circle and the Compass, followed by Pablo Beneito (MIAS Latina) speaking on The Blessing-Prayer of Effusion (May 23rd), and Jane Carroll (MIAS USA) on The Point of the Compass (June 6th).
The second series of three talks saw Jane Clark speak on Structures of ‘two-ness’: equivalence, complementarity and inversion (June 20th), and Eric Winkel on The Encircled Alighting-places of the Quran (July 4th). The final talk in Series 2, The Symbolism of the Two Arcs: some reflections, by Paolo Urizzi, took place on Saturday July 18th.
The first talk in Series 3 was by Samer Akkach on The Geometry of Causality and Unfolding of Destiny, followed by The Perplexing Geometry of Being: Ibn ʿArabi’s Correlative Ontology and the Notion of thubūt (August 1st), by Gregory Vandamme, (August 15th), and The Alif – the One, the Many and the Beautiful, by Rim Feriani (August 29th)..
Series 4 had talks by Michele Petrone, The Dot and the Line: Akbarian views on time and the instant (September 12th); Alexander Knysh, Tasting, Drinking and Quenching Thirst: From Mystical Experience to Mystical Metaphysics (September 26th); and Gracia López Anguita, The Structure of the Universe as a Network (October 10th).
In Series 5, Cyrus Zargar spoke on The Ambiguities of Union: Exploring the Relationship between Perception and Reality (October 24th), Carlos Berbil on A Fresh Look at Ibn Sabʿīn: The Circular Scale of Transcendence and Mediation (November 7th), and finally, Luca Patrizi’s paper was entitled Thus Spoke Adam: The Suryāniyya Language in Islamic Esotericism (November 21st).
The final session of the series was in the form of a special round table gathering of speakers from the series, with invited guests. It took place on Saturday, 5th December 2020.
Videos of all the talks in Series 1 to Series 5 are now available in the Podcasts and Videos section of this website, and on the Society’s YouTube channel. These recordings include the talk, but not the questions and discussion that followed.
2020 | Symposium | Oxford, UK
Breath of Creation, Breath of Compassion
Organised by the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and SOAS School of Languages, Cultures and Religions, London
In view of the coronavirus pandemic currently affecting so many parts of the world, it is necessary to postpone this event, which was scheduled for 9th/10th May 2020. We will update this page when we have more information about the possibilities of a physical symposium.
- Professor James Morris (Boston College, USA)
- Dr. Kazuyo Murata (King’s College London, UK)
- Dr. Oludamini Ogunnaike (University of Virginia, USA)
- Dr. Dia Barghouti (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK)
- Dr. Aydogan Kars (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
There are more than 110 Podcasts and more than 25 videos available here, and they are being added to regularly.