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Annual Conference of the Ibn 'Arabi Society USA

Symbols of Transformation:
Jesus & Mary in the Teachings of Ibn 'Arabi

November 14-15, 2014

Home | Speakers | Concert | Schedule | Registration | Where & When

Mary and Jesus in Hagia Sophia

Muhyiddin Ibn ’Arabi was born in Medieval Spain, then home to an extraordinarily enlightened culture of religious tolerance among Muslims, Jews and Christians, a period that can serve us today as an inspiring example of the possibility of fruitful co-existence and cooperation among different cultures.

As one of history’s greatest universal mystics and interpreters of the human condition, Ibn ’Arabi’s teachings can offer us a window into a form of Islam that we in the West are rarely exposed to, as well as a more sophisticated understanding of the more exalted aspects of the Islamic cultural heritage.

This conference will explore Ibn 'Arabi's profound insights into the spiritual realities of Jesus and Mary, offering a fresh perspective of their place in the prophetic lineage stretching from Adam to Mohammad, as well as the powerful message of personal transformation that their spiritual meanings embody.

This year's conference includes talks and workshops from some of the foremost experts on Ibn 'Arabi, poetry readings from Ibn 'Arabi's works, a music performance by the highly acclaimed Qadim Ensemble, and a buffet luncheon.

Where & When

The Ibn 'Arabi Society is pleased to partner this year with Zaytuna College, the Muslim liberal arts college, in Berkeley, California.

Zaytuna College
2401 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Friday, November 14, 2014, from 6:45pm to 9:00pm (PST)

Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 8:45am to 5:00pm (PST)


Register online with Eventbrite

Early Bird discount ends October 15. Take advantage of this special rate and register now!

A check can also be mailed to the Society for registration.

View all registration options


View the full program of talks and workshops


The following have accepted invitations to speak and run workshops. Read here for full details of speaker bios, talks and workshops.

Maria DakakeMaria Dakake

Talk: "Maryam: Pious Woman, Saint, or Prophet?"

Workshop: "The Islamic Annunciation: Mary's Conception of Jesus as Understood by Ibn 'Arabi and other Qur'anic Commentators"

Zachary MarkwithZachary Markwith

Talk: "Jesus and Christic Sanctity in Ibn 'Arabi and Early Islamic Spirituality"

Workshop: "Mary and Fatimah in Islamic, Sufi, and Akbari Traditions"

Muhammed RustomMohammed Rustom

Talk: "Sanctity and the Song of Life"

Workshop: "Models of Sanctity in Ibn 'Arabi"

Michael SellsMichael Sells

Talk: "Life in Ibn 'Arabi's 'Ringsetting of Prophecy in the Word of Jesus'"

Workshop: "'The One I Love is Three, Though One': The Poetics and Theology of Poem 12 from Ibn al-'Arabi's Tarjuman and his own commentary on it"

Rachel WheelerRachel Wheeler

Workshop: "Rumi and the Desert Fathers: Paradigms of Encounter and Transformation"

Cyrus Ali ZargarCyrus Ali Zargar

Talk: "Bird from the Garden of Meanings: Soul and Speech in Ibn 'Arabi's Reading of Jesus"

Workshop: "Jesus and the Breath in Persian Sufi Poetry"

Concert: Qadim Ensemble

Qadim EnsembleAcclaimed for their passionate performances, The Qadim Ensemble is comprised of accomplished musicians. The San Francisco based band has attracted a growing global audience who are responding to their authentic musicianship and timely message.

Led by Eliyahu Sills on the ney,  The Qadim Ensemble consists of Rachel Valfer Sills on oud and lead vocals, Faisal Zedan on Arabic percussion such as the darbukkah, riqq & daf,  and Geri Hegedus on Turkish baglama saz, divan saz, persian setar,  and oud.

 Qadim is a word found in both Arabic and Hebrew meaning 'ancient' as well as 'that which will come.'   Their repertoire includes Arabic, Jewish, Turkish Sufi, Hebrew-Yemenite, Armenian, Ladino and Moroccan music, celebrating the common musical and spiritual heritage of the region's cultures, while honoring the great diversity found within them.


Academic portion of this event is co-sponsored by the Center for Islamic Studies
Center for Islamic Studies

To learn more about sponsorship please contact the Society


For all inquiries, please send email to the Secretary at mias.usa@ibnarabisociety.org