Journal article Open Access

Suhrawardī, Ibn ʿArabī, and the World of Image: One term different meanings

Lit, L.W. Cornelis van

After summarizing the idea associated with the term ‘world of image’ within the discourse of Suhrawardī and his commentators, I discuss relevant terminology and argumentation in Ibn ʿArabī’s two major texts, al-Futūḥāt al-makkiyya and Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam. This will show that to argue for a Suhrawardian influence requires interpreting certain passages very favorably, while ignoring the philosophical context in which Ibn ʿArabī makes these remarks. I then do the same for Ibn ʿArabī’s most important early commentators, additionally pointing out that this issue was still further developed from commentator to commentator. I end with examples of how the two discourses perceived each other, namely, as largely in agreement on certain issues yet fundamentally different.

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