Kenneth J. Garden (Section 01)
(Also Religion 53.) Sufism is a discipline in the Islamic religious tradition through which practitioners aim to realize the annihilation of the self and union with God. With this basic definition as its starting point, the first step in this course will be the examination of Sufism within the broader context of Islamic belief and practice. It will examine the scriptural basis of Sufism, the history of its emergence and elaboration, its spiritual exercises, key concepts, and lives and contribution of some of its major figures. It will then return to the basic definition and ask what exactly is meant by annihilation of the self and union with the divine. We will pursue this question by examining some of the theoretical writings of Ibn `Arabi and the poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi. First semester. Visiting Professor Garden.