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Pathways to an Inner Islam

Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon

Patrick Laude

Publication Year: 2010

An introduction to four Western figures influenced by Sufism who wrote about an "inner," esoteric Islam. 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

Published by: State University of New York Press

PATHWAYS TO AN INNER ISLAM

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. vii-

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1. INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-32

The spiritual, mystical, and esoteric doctrines and practices of Islam, which may be conveniently, if not quite satisfactorily, labeled as Sufism, have been among the main avenues of the understanding of this religion in Western academic circles, and possibly among Western audiences in general. This stems from a number of reasons, not the least of which is a diff use sense that Sufism...

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2. SUFISM, SHĪ‘ISM, AND THE DEFINITION OF INNER ISLAM

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pp. 33-60

The very mention of an inner dimension of Islam brings to the fore the question of the defi nition of Sufi sm and the related assessment of its relationship with Islam at large. These matters were central to European Islamology in the twentieth century, and they continue to be vital to any integral understanding of Islam in our times...

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3. THE QUR’ĀN

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pp. 61-74

The contemporary renewal of religions bears witness to a quest for criteria of certainty in a world that is bereft of absolute benchmarks and appears increasingly inclined to accommodate a wide relativistic consensus as a guardrail against tyrannies and brutal exploitation. This need for certainty has primarily been focused on sacred Scriptures conceived as repositories of ultimate truth. ...

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4. THE PROPHET

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pp. 75-101

It is not possible to delve into the inner dimensions of Islam without considering the role of the Prophet in the spiritual economy of the religion. In our context, such a consideration is unavoidably related to an understanding of the notion of prophethood. It is also to be situated in contradistinction with the Christian outlook on the Man-God and the Incarnation. As has been ...

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5. THE FEMININE

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pp. 103-126

The question of the status of women in Islam has been at the forefront of most discussions of that religion in the last decades. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has become a kind of cultural symbol of the deep civilizational chasm that is deemed by many to have widened between Islam and the West. The pervasive Western perception that Islam condones a social ...

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6. THE UNIVERSAL HORIZON OF ISLAM

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pp. 127-150

There is no world religion that does not claim universality for itself, at least in the sense of its being potentially accepted by all of mankind. Even autochthonous shamanistic traditions, as bound as they may be to a particular people and a particular land by virtue of their spiritual economy being intimately connected to a sense of sacred immanence in the most concrete natural and ...

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7. THE QUESTION OF WAR

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pp. 151-168

The use of force, and particularly military force, in furthering purportedly religious goals is one of the most sensitive and difficult issues that must be reckoned with in the contemporary world. This is obviously and primarily due to the high visibility of religious violence in the world of Islam taken as a geo-political force...

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8. EPILOGUE

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pp. 169-171

The preceding pages have provided us with glimpses of a rich and integrated, if diverse, vision of Islamic spirituality; a metaphysical and mystical picture of inner Islam has emerged from an overall converging and often complementary set of insightful works of meditation and spiritual interiorization of Islam and Sufi sm. In the wake of Louis Massignon, Henry Corbin...

NOTES

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pp. 173-199

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 201-206

INDEX

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pp. 207-217


E-ISBN-13: 9781438429571
E-ISBN-10: 1438429576
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438429557
Print-ISBN-10: 143842955X

Page Count: 219
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1