15th June 2017 to 15th June 2017
Approaches to the plurality of religions vary from exclusivist monism to all-inclusive universalism. Mark Sedgwick will examine these approaches from a historical perspective. He will discuss perennialism, an approach that in the West has its origins in the Renaissance concept of the prisca theologia, an ancient universal revelation. Sedgwick will follow the development of perennialism alongside other approaches such as Deism and Pantheism during the Enlightenment, through the nineteenth-century, to the modern perennialism of René Guénon and Aldous Huxley and thence into contemporary Traditonalism, in and beyond Islam. He will close with a comparison between these forms of perennialism and contemporary universalism.
31st May 2017 to 31st May 2017
Prof. Taylor will explicate the notion of primary and secondary causality as it appears in various forms in philosophical thinkers of the Greek, Arabic and Latin traditions, including Plotinus, Proclus, the Plotiniana Arabica, the Kalām fī maḥḍ al-khayr (Latin: Liber de causis), al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Rushd and Thomas Aquinas.
15th September 2016 to 15th September 2016
This Annemarie Schimmel Memorial Lecture will explore Awhad al-Din Kirmani, a controversial figure among the pantheon of great Sufi masters from the medieval period. Dr Lloyd Ridgeon will talk about how he occupied perhaps the most prestigious position to which a Sufi could aspire, for the caliph appointed him the shaykh al-shuyukh of the Marzubiyya convent in Baghdad.
9th April 2016 to 9th April 2016
The Institute of Ismaili Studies is pleased to announce the graduation celebration for the STEP Class of 2015 students. Venue: Social Hall, The Ismaili Centre, 1 Cromwell Gardens, SW7 2SL, London Date: 9th April, 2016 Time: 1:30 pm
4th April 2016 to 8th April 2016
The IIS-ISMC Joint Library in Central London warmly invites applications for a five-day workshop entitled Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies, led by world expert on Islamic manuscripts Adam Gacek. The primary focus of the workshop is to provide an overview of writing supports and structures of Islamic manuscripts, bookbinding and decoration, scripts, as well as composition and transmission of texts. The last day will feature a hands-on session where participants will be able to examine rare manuscripts from the Institutes’ collections under the supervision of the instructors. The workshop is open to suitably qualified academics, scholars and students. The deadline for applications is March 4, 2016. The fee for the five-day workshop is £500, with an early bird discount of £50 for bookings received by Friday 29 February 2016. Applicants should email Walid Ghali at email@example.com with their affiliation and contact details. Payment will be required by bank transfer on successful registration.
17th February 2016 to 17th February 2016
This lecture will discuss how developing themes found in the Qur’an and culled from Greek and Jewish, Indian and other sources, Muslim thinkers forged a compelling humanism, precious in the classical age and deserving recovery and reconstruction in our own. The literary form of the risāla (or essay), which developed from the letter writing familiar to the secretarial class, significantly contributed to Islamic humanism. For the informality of a letter overcomes the stiffness of a treatise, the intensity of oratory the and sidesteps the agonistic potential of many a dialogical exchange. The intimacy of address to a friend establishes a sense of privacy and confidentiality even as it modestly vouches for the need that publication seeks to serve. So we readily appreciate the use of the risāla form in the philosophical essays of al-Kindī and in those of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ, where Indian fables mingle with Greek philosophy and science, Arabic lore and poetry. Ibn ufayl and Maimonides in his wake adopt the risāla form for just these reasons.
10th December 2015 to 10th December 2015
When people come to read the Qur’an, there is an interaction between what the words of the Qur’an say and what the person reading the text already thinks and believes before reading it. This lecture marks the launch of The Meaning of the Word: Lexicology and Qur’anic Exegesis (2015)
10th November 2015 to 10th November 2015
The Qur'an is often viewed as being resolutely Arabic, whereby any translation can only deliver its meaning, not its tone and timbre in Arabic. To broaden an understanding of the Qur’an, many scholars are researching and producing English translations that will invoke a sense of curiosity for further exploration in the beauty and sublimity of the original — a poetic translation with a distinctive yet subtle voice. To this end we will review three Qur’anic suras that embody our approach: Sūrat al-Fātiḥa (Q. 1), Sūrat Yā Sīn (Q. 36) and Sūrat al-Raḥmān (Q. 55).
15th September 2015 to 18th September 2015
Two of the Institute of Ismaili Studies research associates will be presenting papers at the eight conference of The Iranian Studies of the Societas Iranologica Europaea. Dr Alessandro Cancian will be presenting a paper on: ‘Shi'i Sufi Exegesis in 19th Century Iran: a Neglected Intellectual Legacy’ and Dr Janis Esots will be presenting a paper on: ‘Henry Corbin and the Shī‘ī Legend about the Green Island’