Upcoming Worldwide Events and Symposiums
24 June 2023
Spiritual Education and the “Imaginary Master” in Ibn ʿArabī’s K. al-Ajwiba al-ʿarabiyya
Gregory Vandamme will conduct an online seminar of behalf of the Muhyddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society on the subject of Spiritual Education and the “Imaginary Master” in Ibn ʿArabī’’s K. al-Ajwiba al-ʿarabiyya on 24 June 2023 from 16:30 – 18:00 BST (London time). The presentation is followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.
Although Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240) is known as “the greatest master” (al-shaykh al-akbar), little is known about his practical teachings and his approach to the master-disciple relationship. Apart from scattered accounts of his own companionship with various masters, Ibn ʿArabī dedicates very few books or chapters to the rules of spiritual education. Therefore, the Shaykh al-akbar’s views on the matter remain largely to be determined.
An understudied work could contribute to fill this gap: the K. al-Ajwiba al-ʿarabiyya fī sharḥ al-naṣāʾiḥ al-yusūfiyya. It contains a detailed expression of Ibn ʿArabī’s conception of spiritual education, illustrated by numerous details and anecdotes that bring into light the practical and pedagogical implications of his doctrines. This talk will propose a brief overview of the treatise, its originality, and the principles of spiritual education that are defined in it. A particular focus will be given to the notion of “imaginary master”, central to both the pedagogical doctrine of Ibn ʿArabī and the nature of the K. al-Ajwiba al-ʿarabiyya.
The talk will delve into how the imaginary master is presented as the necessary interface between the disciple and the master, and how it shapes the whole process of spiritual education.
Gregory Vandamme, holds a PhD in Religious Studies from UCLouvain, and specialises in classical Sufi thought, with a particular focus on the works of Ibn ʿArabī and his commentators. His research primarily centres on the metaphysical doctrines and Quranic hermeneutics of Sufism.
Non-members of the Society are charged £10.00 for admission to MIAS online events. Current members attend the event free of charge as part of their membership package, and will receive a discount code. If you would like to join the Society and receive benefits such as the Society’s Journal, newsletters and free admission to online events, please go to: https://ibnarabisociety.org/s-online-events-member-benefits/
We offer a limited number of subsidised tickets for those on low incomes. To apply, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for this seminar opens on Eventbrite soon.
1 July 2023
Simposio a Torino: Samā‘ – L’ascolto Spirituale
The 4th Symposium of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society Latina (MIAS-Latina) will be held in Turin, Italy, on 1st July, 2023, under the title, Samā‘ : L’ascolto Spirituale in Ibn ‘Arabi e Nella Letteratura Sufi (Samā’: Spiritual Listening in Ibn ‘Arabi and in Sufi Literature). It will be held at the Circolo dei Lettori, Torino, and is organised by Luca Patrizi and Omar Zein.
The event consists of three papers presented in Italian, and a concert of mevlevi compositions intended for the samâ’.
The Program is as follows:
9:30 AM: Welcome address: Omar Zein – Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (MIAS)
10:00 AM: Luca Patrizi – University of Turin
“The Divine Banquet: the spiritual sitting (majlis) in Sufism, between symbolism, listening and meditation”.
Luca Patrizi teaches History of Islamic Countries at the Department of Humanities, University of Turin. He has worked at the Universities of Geneva, Sorbonne-Paris, Bonn and Exeter. His research interests in Islamic studies focus on theological and ethical issues with an emphasis on comparativism, as well as on the doctrines and practices of Islamic esotericism.
10.45 AM: Federico Salvaggio – University of Udine
“Sounds as Symbols and Sound Symbolism in the Teaching of Ibn ‘Arabi”.
PhD in Arabic Linguistics (University of Genoa), Federico Salvaggio is researcher in Arabic Linguistics (University of Udine) and lecturer in Arabic Language and Translation (University of Trieste). His interests focus on the symbolic and ideological dimensions of linguistic knowledge and its transmission in the Arab-Islamic world.
11.45 AM: Giovanni De Zorzi – Ca’ Foscari University of Venice:
‘Samā’: listening and spiritual concert in the Sufi tradition‘
Giovanni De Zorzi teaches Ethnomusicology at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. He is interested in art and Sufi music of the Ottoman-Turkish and Central Asian area, alternating between scientific writing, field research and also the activity of ney flute musician with the Ensemble Marâghî. His latest publications include: ‘Introduction to the musics of the Islamic world’, ‘Maqām. Percorsi tra le musiche d’arte in area mediorientale e centroasiatica’ and ‘Samā’: l’ascolto e il concerto spirituale nella tradizione sufi’.
14.00 – 16.00 Concert by the Marâghî Ensemble
Stefano Albarello, singing, zither qanûn
Giovanni De Zorzi, ney flute
Fabio Trìcomi, daf frame drum, zarb goblet drum
Download the full programme here (PDF)
The event is sponsored by:
- Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (MIAS) Latina
- Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (MIAS) UK
- Il Circolo dei Lettori, Torino
- Univerista degli Studi di Torino
New York , October 20-21, 2023
Translated Desires: Translation, Ibn Al-‘Arabi and the Multilingual Islamic Past
Speakers include: William Chittick (keynote), Sachiko Murata, Rosabel Ansari, Maria Dakake, Marlene DuBois, Ali Karjoo-Ravary, Atif Khalil, Amer Latif, Kazuyo Murata, Oludamini Ogunnaike, Muhammed Rustom,
More information to come.
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
- Hany Ibrahim – MIAS Interdisciplinary Research Hub Forum 2: 5 August, 2023
- 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
18 February 2023 | Online event
Monthly lectures for Arabic speakers
The series of lectures in Arabic which began in November 2022 continues in May 2023 with a talk by Dr. Tawfiq bin Amer from Tunisia. The title of his lecture is, “Ibn ‘Arabi and the theory of knowledge.”
The lecture will be broadcast via the Zoom platform Saturday, May 20, 2023 at twelve noon Moroccan time, and will also be live on the YouTube channel.
For those wishing to attend this lecture on Zoom, it is free, but it will be necessary to register via this Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2023-tickets-625109648787[/] Please login 5 minutes before the lecture is due to begin.
For more details on the subject of the lecture and the biography of Dr. Tawfiq bin Amer, please see the attached flyer https://ibnarabisociety.org/wp-content/uploads/PDFs/7th seminar flyer.pdf.
A 12-month series of lectures
For more details of the series of lectures, please see the programme attached or their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arabicibnarabi
For further information please e-mail email@example.com.
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.
For more information see: https://ufop.br/noticias/encontro-de-saberes/palestra-o-pensamento-de-ibn-arabi-e-o-mundo-persa-e-o-seu-reflexo-no
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.
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.