The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic by Aaron W Hughes

By Aaron W Hughes

The Texture of the Divine explores the principal position of the mind's eye within the shared symbolic worlds of medieval Islam and Judaism. Aaron W. Hughes seems heavily at 3 interrelated texts often called the Hayy ibn Yaqzan cycle (dating approximately from 1000--1200 CE) to bare the interconnections not just among Muslims and Jews, but in addition among philosophy, mysticism, and literature. all of the texts is an initiatory story, recounting a trip throughout the ascending layers of the universe. those narratives culminate within the inventive apprehension of God, within which the tourist gazes into the divine presence. The stories are appealing and poetic literary works in addition to probing philosophical treatises on how the person can recognize the unknowable. during this groundbreaking paintings, Hughes finds the literary, initiatory, ritualistic, and mystical dimensions of medieval Neoplatonism. the feel of the Divine additionally comprises the 1st entire English translation of Abraham Ibn Ezra's Hay ben Meqitz.

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Ayr). u ¯ sı¯ (d. 83 According to his account, Absa¯l is the handsome and unmarried younger brother to Sala¯ma¯n, who is the leader of an unnamed kingdom. One day, Sala¯ma¯n’s wife falls in love with Absa¯l and does everything in her power to seduce him. With the aid of her sister, she seeks to trap him on his wedding night, but is prevented from doing so because of an auspicious flash of lightning. Absa¯l subsequently flees with an army and meets with tremendous military success against the enemies of Sala¯ma¯n.

The tale finally culminates in a rich vision, in which the initiate is able to apprehend and experience the divine. Ibn Ezra and His H. ay ben Meqitz In ibn Ezra, we witness all of the glories and tensions that the life and times of the Andalusi Jewish philosopher-aesthete embodied. Drawn to the universal themes of Arabo-Islamic culture on the one hand, he was nonetheless aware of the particularities of the Jewish people on the other. It is the synthesis of these two trajectories that makes ibn Ezra’s work representative of Jews who shared his class, time, and geography.

Ayy thus comes to the rather quick conclusion that most people are unable to fathom the true secrets of the divine, and that they prefer to think of God in simplistic and anthropomorphic terms. He nevertheless realizes that organized religion plays an important political role. a¯n cycle, the genre of initiation is by no means unique to these texts. Indeed, my goal in examining these specific treatises is to illumine but one aspect of a much broader and wide-ranging phenomenon. 56 In this section I examine, briefly and generally, several contemporaneous and closely related initiatory genres that help us contextualize the H .

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