Pathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon

SUNY Press
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Pathways to an Inner Islam provides an introduction to the esoteric or spiritual “inner Islam” presented by Western thinkers Louis Massignon, Henry Corbin, René Guénon, and Frithjof Schuon. Particularly interested in Sufism—the mystical tradition of Islam—these four twentieth-century authors who wrote in French played an important role in presenting Islamic spirituality to the West and have also had an influence in parts of the Muslim world, such as Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan. Patrick Laude brings them together to argue that an understanding of their inner Islam challenges reductionist views of Islam as an essentially legalistic tradition and highlights its spiritual qualities. The book discusses their thought on the definitions of spiritual Islam and Sufism, the metaphysical and mystical understanding of the Prophet and the Qur’ān, the function of femininity in Islamic spirituality, and the inner understanding of jihād. In addition, the writers’ Christian backgrounds and their participation in the intellectual and spiritual traditions of both Christianity and Islam offer a dynamic perspective on interfaith dialogue.
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About the author

Patrick Laude is Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. His books include Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding and Frithjof Schuon: Life and Teachings (coauthored with Jean-Baptiste Aymard), also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jan 21, 2010
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Pages
219
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ISBN
9781438429571
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Comparative Religion
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / Sufi
Religion / Spirituality
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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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
"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?"

In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions. "Who is the real colonizer of Muslims - America or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? What's our excuse for reading the Koran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if more of us don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show."

Manji offers a practical vision of how the United States and its allies can help Muslims undertake a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the important questions without fear of being deemed "racists." In more ways than one, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer

FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 

In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.

Praise for No god but God
 
“Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times
 
“[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.)
 
“Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian
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