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

• MIAS-Latina
Online talks in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian

2021 | MIAS Online Events

“Word and Letter, Book and Speech”

10th April to 1st May, 2021

In 2021 the Society is planning three main online events. Each event will explore a different theme and will comprise four seminars run over consecutive Saturdays. It is hoped this will give participants the opportunity to explore each theme from different perspectives. The spring seminars will be hosted by MIAS UK and the summer series by MIAS USA. The autumn series will be hosted by Mahmud Kiliç, Hasan Kerim Güç and friends in Turkey.

The spring series is entitled: ‘Word and Letter, Book and Speech’ and takes its inspiration from the Futūḥāt: ‘Existence is entirely letters and words, chapters and verses, and it is the macrocosmic Quran’. Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah IV.167

10th April, 2021 Seminar One: 17:00 BST (London time)
Dunja Rašić: “The Three Great Books: Letters, Elements and Prime Matter in Ibn ‘Arabi’s Cosmogony”

17th April, 2021 Seminar Two: 17:00 BST (London time)
Stephen Hirtenstein: “A Noble Letter with Multiple Aspects”. The letter wāw according to Ibn ‘Arabi, in poetry and prose.

24th April, 2021 Seminar Three: 17:00 BST (London time)
Todd Lawson: “Ibn ‘Arabi’s Alphabet of Prophets, Spirit and Form of the Fusus

1st May, 2021 Seminar Four: 17.00 BST (London time)
A panel discussion between the speakers of themes arising during the seminars, chaired by David Hornsby.

Each seminar will be followed by a Question and Answer session, so that attendees may fully participate in the exploration of each topic.

Registration is required. Registration will close 24 hours before each seminar.

The seminars are free to members of the Society (MIAS UK, MIAS USA and MIAS Latina). Non-members are welcome at a cost of £3.00 per seminar + booking fee. Register via Eventbrite here.

 

About the speakers and the talks

Dunja Rašić: “The Three Great Books: Letters, Elements and Prime Matter in Ibn ‘Arabi’s Cosmogony”

Dunja Rašić (Ph.D) is a lecturer at the University of Belgrade. Her academic interests include the Islamic philosophy of language, the science of the letters and the philosophical and theological thought in the early Islamic Middle Ages. 2021 sees the publication of her book The Written World of God: the Cosmic Script and the Art of Ibn ‘Arabi’ (Anqa Publishing).

Dunja writes: Apart from God, Ibn ‘Arabi believed a man can speak, an angel can speak and jinn can speak. However, human beings were thought to be the only ones with a potential to come to terms with the secret properties of letters. This presentation will explore Ibn ‘Arabi’s notion of letters as the building blocks of the universe and the correspondences between the Breath of the All-Merciful, the letters of the Arabic alphabet and (in)organic matter.

 

Stephen Hirtenstein: “A Noble Letter with Multiple Aspects”. The letter wāw according to Ibn ‘Arabi, in poetry and prose.

Stephen Hirtenstein has been Editor of the Society Journal since its inception in 1982, and is Director of Anqa Publishing. He is currently working on several book projects, including ‘Patterns of Contemplation: Ibn ‘Arabi, Abdullah Bosnevi and the Blessing-prayer of Effusion’ with Pablo Beneito.

Stephen writes: In this talk we will explore some of the meanings of the final letter (in sound) of the Arabic alphabet, and how it symbolises notions of lastness and the Perfect Human. We will particularly focus on the remarkable letter-poem which Ibn ‘Arabi included in chapter 2 of the Futūḥāt, and his prose discussions of the Wāw.

 

Todd Lawson: “Ibn ‘Arabi’s alphabet of prophets: the spirit and form of the Fuṣūṣ

Todd Lawson is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought (University of Toronto). He began the formal study of Islam in 1973 at the University of British Columbia with Hanna Kassis who ignited in him a deep and abiding interest in and love for the Quran. He continued Islamic Studies at McGill’s Institute of Islamic Studies where he worked with Charles Adams, Issa J. Boullata and Wadiʿ Haddad during the early years. For the PhD, he worked under the supervision of Professor Hermann Landolt, who had studied with Henry Corbin and Fritz Meier. Todd has published numerous books and articles, usually to do with the Quran and its interpretation. His most recent book is Intimacy and Ecstasy in Quran Commentary (Brill 2018) a study of the first major work by Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, known most widely as The Báb (1819-1850). He has been a member of the Bahai Community since 1968 and lives in Montreal with his wife Barbara.

Todd writes: The Fușūṣ al-ḥikam frequently speaks to us through metaphor with highly imaginative readings of the Quran and Hadith. In this talk, we are taking a cue from the structure of the book – a mystical and philosophical Tales of the Prophets (Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ) – to consider it, in the spirit of experimentation, as a language primer in which the alphabet being taught is composed not of letters as usually construed but as words. In this light, the basic elements of the new language are now marvellously and richly charged “integers of meaning” with a vastly expanded semantic horizon: A is for Adam. Rather than thinking of our alphabet as a collection of single tones of speech and meaning, i.e. letters (sing. ḥarf), Ibn ‘Arabi teaches us to think in chords of meaning (kalima), to offer another metaphor, as the figures of the new, and as it happens, simultaneously, pre-eternal alphabet. The language is the language of the covenant, that long remembered day of absolute unity of humanity and “religion” in the presence of the Lord (Q 7:172), towards which we are all returning.

 

A panel discussion between the speakers of themes arising during the seminars, will be chaired by David Hornsby.

David Hornsby has been a member of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society since its inception and currently serves as the Managing Editor of the Society’s Journal.

 

 

 

 

April 2021 | Online talk

Ibn Arabi’s Tomb and Spiritual Legacy in Damascus

Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University, Australia

Caligraphic tilesProf Samer Akkach (Uni Adelaide, Australia) will speak on “Ibn Arabi’s Tomb and Spiritual Legacy in Damascus” on Saturday 3rd April, 2021, 7-8 pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time; please note the different start time).

The seminar is open-to-public and free, but registration is required via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/147037640541 [/] People who have registered will receive the link to the Zoom meeting two days before the event..

This talk is part of a series of online seminars on Ibn ʿArabi, entitled “The Hidden Treasure”, organised by the Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University, Australia. These seminars aim to present an accessible introduction to Ibn ʿArabi, his teachings, and his relevance to the contemporary world.

They are online meetings on the first Saturday of every month. They comprise a 40-minute presentation by the speaker, followed by a 20-minute question and answer session with the audience.

The speaker’s talk will be recorded and be made available on the IAI webpage, and the audio and video recordings of Cecilia Twinch’s Hidden Treasure Seminar, “Ibn Arabi and the World of the Imagination,” on our webpage (and here: https://vimeo.com/520726806 [/]).

For more information about the IAI see the monash.edu/arts/Ibn-Arabi-Interreligious-Research-Initiative [/].

2021 | Weekly on Sundays

Online study of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusus al-Hikam

Two groups studying an English translation of the Fusus al-Hikam meet on Sunday mornings and afternoons, UK time. They will each start new chapters on 4th April. There are spaces for new members. This is sponsored by the Beshara Trust. For details see: https://beshara.org/courses/ [/]

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

A draftsmans compass and a circleThis 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

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.

Confirmed speakers 

  • 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)
While the present pandemic is causing the postponement of symposia and seminars in many locations, this could be a good time to explore the Society’s offering of Podcasts and Videos recorded at previous events.

There are more than 110 Podcasts and more than 25 videos available here, and they are being added to regularly.

Go to the Podcasts and Videos Overview