The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Al-Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination
Ibn al-'Arabi is still known as "the Great Sheik" among thesurviving Sufi orders. Born in Muslim Spain, he has become famousin the West as the greatest mystical thinker of Islamiccivilization. He was a great philosopher, theologian, and poet.William Chittick takes a major step toward exposing the breadthand depth of Ibn al-'Arabi's vision. The book offers his view ofspiritual perfection and explains his theology, ontology,epistemology, hermeneutics, and soteriology. The clear language,unencumbered by methodological jargon, makes it accessible to thosefamiliar with other spiritual traditions, while its scholarlyprecision will appeal to specialists.Beginning with a survey of Ibn al-'Arabi's major teachings, thebook gradually introduces the most important facets of his thought,devoting attention to definitions of his basic terminology. Histeachings are illustrated with many translated passages introducingreaders to fascinating byways of spiritual life that would notordinarily be encountered in an account of a thinker's ideas. Ibnal-'Arabi is allowed to describe in detail the visionary world fromwhich his knowledge derives and to express his teachings in his ownwords.William Chittick is a Professor of ReligiousStudies at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is authorof The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumiand nine other books.