Shimmering Mirrors: Reality and Appearance in Contemplative Metaphysics East and West

SUNY Press
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 A study of comparative metaphysics that explores the concepts of Reality and Appearance and their relevance to contemporary religious consciousness.
In this pioneering work of comparative metaphysics, Patrick Laude delves into Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish concepts of Reality and Appearance to offer a uniquely lucid exploration of metaphysical representations of reality, relativity, appearance, and illusion. Laude includes discussions of the Absolute and the Relative in Hindu Advaita Vedānta, Kashmiri Śaivism, Sufi wahdat al-wujūd, and Madhyamaka Buddhism; the metaphysics of salvation in Buddhist and Christian traditions; and the metaphysics of evil and the distinction between Reality and Appearance in the Jewish Kabbalah, Śaivism, Christian mysticism, and the Sufi school of Ibn al-‘Arabī. The book explores how a discerning and subtle apprehension of the relationship between Reality and Appearance may help contemporary readers and seekers respond to the acute predicaments of contemporary religious and spiritual consciousness.

“I have rarely read a work that is so lucid in explaining complex philosophical theories across multiple traditions, so articulate in constructing concise ideas, and so strategic in assembling a framework for analysis. This is a unique and special work of comparative metaphysics rarely found in contemporary works on philosophies of religion.” — Lee Irwin, author of Alchemy of Soul: The Art of Spiritual Transformation

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About the author

 Patrick Laude is Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of several books, including Pathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guénon, and Schuon and (with Jean-Baptiste Aymard) Frithjof Schuon: Life and Teachings, both published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

SUNY Press
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Published on
Oct 26, 2017
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RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Reference
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Eligible for Family Library

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Islam's acceptance of other religions remains an enigma for many Westerners. Yet it is this religion's doctrine of Unity, which affirms one supreme God, as well as its belief in multiple prophets, which explains its acceptance of other faiths. The sixteen articles in this volume discuss the fundamental universality of Islam and make the case for it as a religion and civilization intrinsically equipped to address all aspects of the human experience.

"Patrick Laude provides an invaluable collection of some of the greatest expressions of universal spirituality written in the past century and a half.... The essays are both intellectually and spiritually inspirational."---John Voll, Georgetown University, author of Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World

"Introducing the `Universal Dimension' of Islam goes a long way to dispelling the myth of radical Islam. In his new work, Patrick Laude has gathered major essays by the leading figures in the Perennialist tradition."---Mehdi Aminrazavi, University of Mary Washington, author of Philosophy, Religion and the Question of Intolerance

"In these articles we encounter Islam as a profound, rich spiritual heritage of universal scope. It is not the monochrome Islam of so-called `fundamentalism' but instead a variegated, woven tapestry that gives expression to the beauty of a tradition that forms the spiritual, intellectual, and social framework of over a quarter of humanity today."---Rodney Blackhirst, La Trobe University, author of Primordial Alchemy and Modern Religion

"Patrick Laude has assembled a sample of writings nourishing anyone's journey through the desert into the spirit. Selections from recognized `traditionalist' leaders are spiced with fresh voices from Mali to China, so offering fruitful paths for comparing Muslim with other ways, to reveal startling convergences."---David Burrell, University of Notre Dame, author of Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas

"This collection brings together some of the best writings on the universal dimensions of Islam. Anchoring Islam's universality in its core teaching of Tawhid, Divine unity, the essays provide penetrating insights into Islam's ability to produce a world civilization which combines the elements of particularity and universality."---Ibrahim Kalin, Georgetown University, author of Islam and the West
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