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Rethinking Islamic Studies:From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism (2010)

October 3, 2010

Image result for Rethinking Islamic Studies:From Orientalism to CosmopolitanismRethinking Islamic Studies upends scholarly roadblocks in post-Orientalist discourse within contemporary Islamic studies and carves fresh inroads toward a robust new understanding of the discipline, one that includes religious studies and other politically infused fields of inquiry.

Editors Carl W. Ernst and Richard C. Martin, along with a distinguished group of scholars, map the trajectory of the study of Islam and offer innovative approaches to the theoretical and methodological frameworks that have traditionally dominated the field. In the volume’s first section, the contributors reexamine the underlying notions of modernity in the East and West and allow for the possibility of multiple and incongruent modernities. This opens a discussion of fundamentalism as a manifestation of the tensions of modernity on Muslim cultures. The second section addresses the volatile character of Islamic religious identity as expressed in religious and political movements at national and local levels. In the third section, contributors focus on Muslim communities in Asia and examine the formation of religious models and concepts as they appear in this region. This study concludes with an afterword by accomplished Islamic studies scholar Bruce B. Lawrence reflecting on the evolution of this post-Orientalist approach to Islam and placing the volume within existing and emerging scholarship.

Translation of The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master, Ruzbihan Baqli (1997)

October 3, 1997

Image result for Translation of The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master, Ruzbihan BaqliThe Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master is a visionary diary of astonishing intensity, written by one of the outstanding figures in Persian Sufism, Ruzbihan Baqli. Ruzbihan, who died nearly a century before Rumi, was known throughout the Middle East and India as one of the most profound authors in the Sufi tradition. Nevertheless, by the early 1900’s, his name had become almost forgotten. It is only within the past few decades that his works have been rediscovered and printed. This translation by Carl W. Ernst from the original Arabic is the first complete translation of any of his writings into English. Comparable to St. Augustine’s Confessions or St. Teresa’s Interior Castle, The Unveiling of Secrets is one of the most powerful documents in the history of mysticism. In it Ruzbihan recorded intimate visions in which he saw God appear to him in human form, in overpowering manifestations of divine qualities. He portrays his spiritual encounters with remarkable poetic descriptions that testify to his extraordinarily rich inner life. As he observed in the diary, “Not a day or night has gone by me, by God, during all the time extending up to now, when I am fifty-five years old, without an unveiling of the hidden world.” The Unveiling of Secrets is a rare document that displays the elemental mystical experiences which form the basis for Sufi descriptions of the spiritual path. This classic of spiritual autobiography by one of the greatest visionaries in the realm of mystical love will appeal to anyone seriously concerned with the life of the spirit.