Each year the Society organizes Symposia in the UK and the USA on an aspect of Ibn 'Arabi's work.
These international gatherings bring together people from many different fields and traditions, and include scholars, students, and anyone interested in what Ibn 'Arabi has to say. These events provide a unique opportunity for both speakers and delegates, specialists and non-specialists, to enrich their understanding of the Shaykh's teachings and their relevance today. The Society also encourages public seminars and lectures and can provide speakers on request.
A Living Legacy: Ibn 'Arabi in Today's World
May 23rd-24th, 2015 – St Anne's College, Oxford, UK
The 32nd Symposium of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society in the UK will be held on 23rd and 24th May, 2015, at St Anne's College, Oxford.
2015 marks the 850th anniversary of the birth of Ibn 'Arabi. The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society and MIAS Latina will be organising a number of events around the world exploring aspects of his legacy.
- About the Symposium
- About the Speakers
- Accommodation and meals
- How to get there
- Who to contact
Speakers and provisional titles of papers
- Robert Darr (San Francisco) Waking to the Embrace: Applying Ibn 'Arabi's Teachings on Embodiment
- Su'ad Hakim (Beirut)
- Mahmud Kılıç (Istanbul) If You Meet Ibn 'Arabi in Damascus...
- Mohammed Rustom (Toronto)
- Sa'diyya Shaikh (Cape Town) Intimate Echoes of Self: Gender And Sexuality in Ibn 'Arabi's Cosmology
- Cecilia Twinch (Oxford)
About the Symposium
This year the annual Symposium of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society has special significance in celebrating the 850th anniversary of the birth of the 'Shaykh al-Akbar', as he has been known to many ever since. Speakers at this landmark event include Mahmud Kilic, Robert Darr, Mohammed Rustom, Cecilia Twinch, Su'ad Hakim and Sadiyya Shaikh.
Organised and held with an intention for the spirit and sentiment that Ibn 'Arabi would have recognised, the Symposium adds up to more than a series of academic papers and its benefits are 'greater than the sum of its parts'. Many past attendees have attested to the quality of the gatherings, the conversations and the sense of invitation that can arise. Since all the parts make up an organic whole, it is strongly recommended that you come to both days, if you are able. We also recommend the lunches, which are both delicious and a superb opportunity to meet and make friends and to savour something of this special atmosphere.
If you are keen to attend but on a low income or benefits and unable to afford the prices shown, we may be able to find sponsorship for part of the fee. Please contact the organiser.
The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society is a non-profit association funded by membership and run by volunteers, and as such we often make a loss on events such as the annual symposium. If you are able to make an additional donation, either with your booking or in person at the event, this would be greatly appreciated.
About the speakers
Robert Abdul Hayy Darr has, for forty-five years, been a student of the spiritual culture of Islam. In the late 1960s he studied North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar Khan School of Music in California. By the early 1980s Darr began studying Persian literature where he first encountered the teachings of Ibn 'Arabi in the works of Abdurrahman Jami of Herat. This began a life-long interest in the Shaykh's profound teachings. In 1987 Darr met Afghanistan's poet laureate in exile, Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, and this friendship led to his English translation of the poet's quatrains in 1989. From 1988-2007 Darr was tutored in Persian miniature painting by Ustad Homayon Etemadi, Afghanistan's last court painter and royal librarian. Darr was the disciple of the Afghan Sufi poet, Raz Mohammed Zaray, from 1992 until the poet's death in 2010.
Provisional title of paper: Waking to the Embrace: Applying Ibn 'Arabi's Teachings on Embodiment
Souad Hakim is one of the leading contemporary scholars in akbrarian studies. She was Professor of Philosophy at the Lebanese University, Beirut, and Dean of the Doctoral School in Literature and Human and Social Sciences. Her many publications include critical editions of Ibn 'Arabī's K. al-Isra (The Book of the Night Journey) and Mashāḥid al-Asrār (Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries) (with Pablo Beneito), and of Sharḥ al-Mashāhid al-qudsiyya by Sitt al-'Ajam, a 13th century female commentator. She has written and lectured widely on Ibn 'Arabī's thought, and is the author the standard lexicon of his terminology, Al-muʿjam al-sufiyya.
Dr. Mahmud Erol Kilic has been an Honorary Fellow of the Society for many years. He is currently Professor at Marmara University, Faculty of Islamic Theology, and since 2008 has been Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) Tehran. As Chairman of The Board of The Islamic Manuscript Association, University of Cambridge (2006-2014) and President of the Turkish-Islamic Art Museum in Istanbul (2005-2008), he has been very helpful with the Society's archiving project. He is Editor of the Journal of Sufi Studies (Brill, Leiden) (2010–2015). His book on The Poetics of Ottoman Poetry was awarded the book of the year by the Association of Turkish Writers in 2004. He writes widely in Turkish, most recently Sheikh Akbar: Introduction to Ibn Arabi's Thought, Istanbul 2009; Lectures on Rumi, Istanbul 2014; Sufism and Art, Istanbul 2015 (Turkish). As well as his native Turkish, he is fluent in English, Arabic and Persian.
Provisional title of paper: If You Meet Ibn 'Arabi in Damascus...
Sa'diyya Shaikh is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has an interest in Sufism and its implications for Islamic feminism and feminist theory. She teaches courses in Religion and Gender, Islamic Mysticism, and the Psychology of Religion. In 2000 she co-presented at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit of Spiritual and Religious Leaders in New York. Her book Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn 'Arabī, Gender and Sexuality is published by the University of North Carolina Press (2012). Sa'diyya is married, the mother of two children and an ever-grateful member of the "ant-family" of Shaykh Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.
Provisional title of paper: Intimate Echoes of Self: Gender And Sexuality in Ibn 'Arabi's Cosmology
Cecilia Twinch is a Senior Research Fellow of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society, Oxford. Besides working as a teacher, translator and editor, she has written numerous articles and has lectured on Ibn 'Arabi and mysticism worldwide. She has studied at Cambridge University and the Beshara School. Her publications include an English translation of Ibn 'Arabi's Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries and a new translation of Know yourself: An explanation of the oneness of being (Ibn 'Arabi/Balyani).
Mohammed Rustom is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Carleton University in Canada. A specialist in Sufism, Islamic philosophy and Quranic exegesis, his book The Triumph of Mercy: Philosophy and Scripture in Mulla Sadra (2012) was awarded Iran's Book of the Year Prize in 2014. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Study Quran: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary (Editor-in-Chief, S.H. Nasr) (forthcoming, 2015), and the lead editor of an anthology of William Chittick's writings: In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought (2012).
The Programme will be posted here nearer the event.
|Member (Early Bird/From April 1)||£45/£50||£45/£50||£75/£85|
|Non-member (Early Bird/From April 1)||£50/£55||£50/£55||£85/£95|
|Over 65s (Early Bird/From April 1)||£50||£50||£75/£90|
|Full-time student with ID*||£25||£25||£35|
* Please bring student ID to the Symposium.
How to register
Register using the Online Registration Form
On the Online Registration Form:
Accommodation and meals
There are many places to stay in Oxford within different price bands, including a good Youth Hostel within walking distance of the city centre.
The Oxford Information Centre is a good source of information about hotels and B&Bs.
Early booking for accommodation in Oxford is essential.
Saturday and Sunday lunch: Buffet lunches will be available at St Anne's on both days. Various dietary preferences can be catered for: standard, halal, vegetarian, non-dairy, wheat-free, vegetarian and vegan. These can be selected when you order tickets for lunch. If for any reason we are unable to provide your preference, we will notify you as early as possible and can refund the cost of lunch if no suitable alternative can be offered.
Evening meals: St Anne’s College is close to the city centre and within easy reach of a number of places to eat. Advance booking is advisable at weekends.
Who to contact
For further information, please contact the Symposium organiser, Robin Thomson email@example.com.
About the venue – St Anne's College
St Anne's College is in the Woodstock Road, close to the centre of Oxford, within easy reach of coaches, trains, and many places to eat.
St Anne's College is one of 38 independent, self-governing colleges at Oxford University. Founded in 1952 as a college for women, St Anne's can trace its origins back to 1878 and the formation of the Association for the Education of Women in Oxford. Today it is fully co-educational, with a near equal mix of men and women both in the student body and on the teaching staff, and is one of the largest of the Colleges and Halls that make up the university.
How to get there
The entrance to St Anne's College is in the Woodstock Road, on the right hand side as you walk from the centre, about 300 yards past St Giles Church. It comes shortly before Bevington Road. Printable site plan of college and location map. Link to map on Google.
If you are travelling from outside Oxford by car, it may be best to use the Peartree Park and Ride car park. Located to the north of the city, it can be reached from the A40, the A34, and the M40. Buses from Peartree come down the Woodstock Road, passing the college. Earliest buses are at 6.00 a.m. on Saturday and 8.40 a.m. on Sunday. Last buses are at about 11.30 p.m. on Saturdays and 6.50 p.m. on Sundays. Check the Park and Ride bus timetable here.