Upcoming Worldwide Events and Symposiums

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Arabic lecture series, September 23

Dr. Mohammad Bilal Achmal will speak on, “Ibn al-Arabi according to Miguel Asin Palacios” at 12 noon Morocco time.

Annual meeting for members, October 7

The online meeting will begin with a talk by Bharatwaj Iyer. The second part will be an interactive session with the Trustees, who will give news of upcoming developments and answer questions.

New York conference, October 20-21

Both William Chittick and Sachiko Murata will speak at “Translated Desires: Translation, Ibn Al-‘Arabi and the Multilingual Islamic Past” at Columbia University on October 21, 2023

MIAS Library moves to Woolf Institute

The Ibn Arabi Library at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge, will be opened on 8 November 2023

Young Writer Award 2023

An award of US$ 1,500 is offered for an unpublished essay concerning the teachings of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi by an author under the age of 35.

• Online courses
Developed by MIAS Education

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

8 November 2023

Inaugural Ibn ‘Arabi Lecture, Cambridge

The inaugural Ibn Arabi Lecture will be held in Cambridge, UK, on 8 November, 2023, at 5:00 pm UK time. Neil MacGregor will speak on “Faith in the Museum”.

About the Ibn Arabi Lecture series

This newly established Annual Lecture series at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge, has been endowed by Hilary Williams Papworth in memory of Bill Papworth. “It derives its inspiration from the universality of Ibn Arabi’s teaching, which naturally leads the student of his work towards an appreciation of the philosophical common ground underlying the triple tradition of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His work also opens the door to an understanding of the commonality of the mystical traditions and the wider ecumenism.”

The lectures will not be about Ibn Arabi – speakers will be invited on the grounds that their work and thought animates, inspires or illuminates significant issues of our time.

Neil MacGregor

​Neil MacGregor began his career as a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading in 1975. Editor of the Burlington Magazine from 1981 until 1987, he masterminded its transfer from the Thompson’s Newspaper empire to an independent and charitable status. As Director of the National Gallery (1987-2002) he oversaw the opening of the Sainsbury Wing and a complete rehang of the collection. He became a household name in 2000 when he presented the BBC series with the same title as his exhibition Seeing Salvation, which examined images of Christ in Western Art. Neil MacGregor was Director of the British Museum from 2002 to 2015, and was Director of the Founding Directorate of the Humboldt Forum, Berlin, from 2015 to 2018.

About “Faith in the Museum”

European museums have long thought of themselves as secular civic spaces, heirs of the Enlightenment, and — especially in the French tradition — operating outside the religious realm. Yet the civic world they inhabit has changed radically in recent years. In many countries, religion is now politically centre-stage, and not only in India and Russia, Turkey and the United States. In a way unimaginable a generation ago, every European state now has to take a view on Islam. Everywhere, indigenous communities expect their beliefs to be respected in the display of their artefacts — or by a decision not to display them. What does this mean for museums? Can you show religious art without exploring the thought world which shaped it? Can you present objects of faith without, in some measure, endorsing the assumptions they embody?

Attending the lecture

The lecture will be held in Cambridge on Wednesday, 8 November 2023, at 17:00 GMT. The venue will either be the Woolf Institute, Westminster College, Madingley Road, or nearby St John’s Old Divinity School. Directions will be provided here when the venue is decided. Attendance is free, but it is necessary to register in advance, via Eventbrite. To register, please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ibn-arabi-lecture-faith-in-the-museum-by-neil-macgregor-tickets-666847267127 [/].


8 November 2023

The Society Library at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge

In 2023 the Society reached an agreement with the Woolf Institute in Cambridge for over 1,000 books and journals from the Society’s library to be housed as a special collection in the Institute’s library on a multi-year loan. The Woolf Institute library is a beautiful purpose-built space in its building in the grounds of Westminster College, Cambridge. The Society will continue to maintain the collection.

The books will be listed in the iDiscover catalogue of Cambridge Libraries Collections, and will be automatically available to most current staff and students of the University of Cambridge, also to many other researchers. Except for a short period during its very early days, the Society’s library of printed works has occupied a room in the home of a member in the UK. It is hoped that this greatly increased accessibility will be a boon for the increasing number of people engaged with the works of Ibn Arabi

About The Woolf Institute

The Woolf Institute was founded by Dr Edward Kessler and Revd Professor Martin Forward in 1998. Their aim was to provide an academic framework and space in which people could tackle issues of religious difference constructively.

Beginning as the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations, the Institute later expanded to include the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations, and the Centre for Policy and Public Education. In 2010, these Centres were amalgamated under the designation “Woolf Institute”, in honour of Harry, Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

The Woolf Institute has recently completed a permanent new home in the grounds of Westminster College in the heart of Cambridge. “In a world marked by increasing division and instability, our new building is a much needed space to foster understanding and positive relations between communities in the UK and abroad.”

The Ibn Arabi Library at the Woolf Institute will be opened in a 90 minute event starting at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, 8 Nov 2023 – shortly before the Ibn Arabi Lecture, to be delivered by Neil MacGregor. If you would like to attend the opening, please register in advance through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/opening-of-the-ibn-arabi-library-tickets-703265715687 [/]

7 October 2023

Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society Members’ Meeting 2023

The Society’s annual meeting for members of the Society will be held online on 7th October 2023, and will start at 10:00 (London time). It is divided into two parts.

The meeting will begin with a talk by Bharatwaj Iyer, who will explore the applications of Ibn ‘Arabi’s teachings in addressing modern exclusivism. The second part will be an interactive session with the Society’s Trustees. They will introduce new developments within the Society and will be available to answer any questions.

This event is free to Members, but registration is required. To register, follow the link to Eventbrite below. Registration closes 24 hours before the meeting.


The talk in the first part of the meeting is called “Ibn Arabi’s Pluralistic Vision in a World of Exclusivism”.

Bharatwaj Iyer writes: The philosophical concepts at the heart of this presentation include Wujud, the Plural, and Ambiguity. I begin by examining Ibn Arabi’s notion of belief as ‘tying knots in the heart,’ parallel to his understanding of the nature of Wujud and Barzakh. The aim is a fresh thinking about pluralism, grounded in Sufi metaphysics – a metaphysics focused on what Shahab Ahmed elsewhere describes as ‘the multivalent experiential condition of hayra [paradoxical perplexity].’ Without hastily asserting Ibn Arabi’s pluralistic views of other traditions or religions, I dwell on what we today can learn from Ibn Arabi’s nuanced understanding of Being. This insight could offer us new perspectives for addressing the global rise of exclusivism and rigid, unambiguous identifications. The approach involves the philosophical application of Ibn Arabi’s teachings on the essential delimitation of all doctrinal positions to current issues. Situated in the cultural and social realities of the subcontinent, I also highlight the historical application of these core Akbarian concepts in the diverse religious and spiritual expressions of subcontinental Sufis.

Bharatwaj Iyer is a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, focusing on Heidegger and the phenomenological tradition. He is on the education team of MIAS, where he has served for over two years. He recently published “The Transimmanence of the Real: Ontological Pluralism in the School of Ibn ʻArabī” edited by Pablo Benito in Religions. A forthcoming article, “You are a Puzzle-lock: A Phenomenological Analysis of Perplexity,” in Philosophy East and West examines the Urdu poem Tum ek Gorakh Dhanda ho from a Heideggerian perspective. His academic and activist interests are political pluralism and rising extremism.


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23 September 2023 | Online event

Monthly lectures for Arabic speakers

The series of lectures in Arabic which began in November 2022 continues with a talk by Dr. Mohammad Bilal Achmal at 12 noon Morocco time on Saturday 23rd September 2023. The title of his lecture is, “Ibn al-Arabi according to Miguel Asin Palacios: Perspectives on Method and Vision”. Please note that due to the circumstances of Morocco’s earthquake, it has been decided to postpone the lecture from the previously announced date of 16th.

People who would like to attend the lecture can use this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83484657052?pwd=M3NSTFhINVl2c1k2ME1JVzRnd092QT09 [/]

Meeting ID: 834 8465 7052 | Passcode: 000000 | Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kb23I9qIRQ [/]

For more details of the series of lectures, please see the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arabicibnarabi

For further information please e-mail mias-as@nokshee.com.


New York , October 20-21, 2023

Translated Desires: Translation, Ibn Al-‘Arabi and the Multilingual Islamic Past

Poster for Translated Desires, New York October 20-21, 2023MIAS USA, in collaboration with Columbia University, present an important conference in New York on October 20-21, 2023, under the title “Translated Desires: Translation, Ibn Al-‘Arabi and the Multilingual Islamic Past”.

The writings of Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1240) touched all aspects of knowledge in Asia and Africa in the centuries after his death. This workshop will take as its objective a global history of translation and language in both the dissemination and reception of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s writings through discourse, music, and art.

On Friday October 20 there will be an Opening reception from 3:30 to 5:30PM in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, featuring the exhibit “Light and Beauty” by New York Islamic Arts. The opening reception is for staff, students, speakers only. For information about the exhibit please see https://events.columbia.edu/go/lightandbeauty

This will be followed by a Qawwali Concert from 6:00 – 8:00PM by Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal Group, in Saint Paul’s Chapel. For information about the concert please see https://events.columbia.edu/go/qawwal

The Conference will take place on Saturday, October 21 between 9:00AM and 7:00PM, in the Jerome Greene Hall 106 (Columbia Law School) , 435 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027.

Speakers include William Chittick (keynote) and Sachiko Murata, both Honorary Fellows of the Society. Many of the speakers were contributors to the recently published Festschrift in honor of William Chittick and Sachiko Murata.

Registration for the Saturday Conference is necessary through the Columbia website at this link https://events.columbia.edu/eventregext/uereg/init.do?href=%2Fpublic%2Fcals%2FMainCal%2FCAL-00bbdb70-8a6eaba8-018a-6ffb73db-00002336.ics&evcontactemail=ak4847@columbia.edu

The proceedings on Saturday will begin at 9AM with the Welcome, acknowledgments, and opening remarks by Ali Karjoo-Ravary (Columbia University), following which the speakers will present their papers in three sessions, entitled: Sources, Legacies, and Translations. Finally William Chittick will give the keynote address

SOURCES: 9:30-11 AM

Kazuyo Murata (King’s College), Ibn al-‘Arabī on Boredom

Maria Dakake (George Mason University), Ta‘wīl and Ishāra: The Meaning of these Terms in Ibn al-‘Arabī’s Approach to the Qur’an

Mohammed Rustom (Carleton University), Ibn al-‘Arabī on Translation

LEGACIES: 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM

Rosabel Ansari (SUNY Stony Brook), Ibn al-‘Arabī in Peripatetic guise? From ‘iyān to burhān and the epistemological problematic

Marlene Dubois (Suffolk Community College), The Covenant of Alast: When Love Shared its Promise

Amer Latif (Emerson College), The Sufi Path of Extraordinary Ordinariness in the Ottoman Novel The Depths of Imagination

Atif Khalil (University of Lethbridge), Ibn al-‘Arabī in Japan: The Life and Legacy of Toshihiko Izutsu (1914-1993)


Oludamini Ogunnaike (University of Virginia), Philosophical Sufism in the Sokoto Caliphate: Two Poems of Shaykh Dan Tafa

Shankar Nair (University of Virginia), The Heart as Cosmic Creator: Hindu Scriptures Translated through the Lens of Ibn al-‘Arabī

Sachiko Murata (SUNY Stony Brook), Wujūdī Metaphysics in Chinese

KEYNOTE: 5-6:30 PM

William C. Chittick (SUNY Stony Brook), Farghānī on Wahdat al-Wujud in the Four Journeys

For more detailed information about the Conference, please see https://events.columbia.edu/go/translated

31 December 2023

Young Writer Award 2023 – Prize of USD 1,500

The Society is delighted to announce the Young Writer competition for 2023. An award of US$ 1,500 is offered for an unpublished essay concerning the teachings of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi by an author under the age of 35. The winning essay will be selected by a panel of three judges: Dr Angela Jaffray; Dr Aydogan Kars; Dr Michael Sells. The deadline for entries is 31st December 2023.

  • The author must be born on or after 31st December 1988.
  • The essay must be in English, and not more than 9000 words in length (excluding any notes, references, bibliography and summary).
  • It must be the original work of the person submitting it, and be unpublished at the time of entry,
  • The submission must be prefaced by a short summary of between 100–150 words.
  • The submission should include a bibliography and be page-numbered throughout. Citations and quo­tations must be fully referenced.
  • The judges may request a short online viva with short-listed candidates before making their final decision.
  • Previous entrants can enter again, but previous winners cannot.
  • The Society has first rights on the publication of entries.

Further details can be found by downloading the Application  form.
Click here to download the full-size A4 poster, suitable for a notice board.

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

  • MIAS UK Annual Members’ Meeting: 7 October, 2023 (TBC)
  • Matthew Melvin-Koushki – MIAS Online Seminar 3: 2 December, 2023


  • Symposium at Columbia University, New York, October 2023