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Saturday, April 10, 2010

New book on Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon

An interesting new book by Patrick LaudePathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon (Albany: SUNY Press, 2010; $80; 219 pp; ISBN13: 978-1-4384-2955-7).

Laude, who writes as both a scholar (GWU) and as an insider, deals with the views of the two great scholars and the two great Traditionalists (who in some ways resembled the scholars and in other ways very much differed from them) on "Sufism, Shi‘ism, and the Definition of Inner Islam," "The Qur’an," "The Prophet," "The Feminine," "The Universal Horizon of Islam," and "The Question of War" (these being the titles of his main chapters).

One of Laude's initital premises is that "outsiders" such as the four he bases his book on are actually better situated to understand Islam than are most Muslims, because of what he calls the "ideologization" of Islam in the modern world. Be this as it may, the book promsies a careful and well-researched study of the theology of Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon, if not necessarily of Islam.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strange that Guenon and Schuon are presented as "outsiders" to Islam...but, then again, maybe it's not so strange!

Regarding your comment: "Be this as it may, the book promsies a careful and well-researched study of the theology of Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon, if not necessarily of Islam", I was reminded of the phrase “imaginative rhetoric about imagined traditions” from Algis Uždavinys'insightful article "Sufism in the Light of Orientalism":http://www.litlogos.lt/eidos/research/uzdavinys1.html

Mark Sedgwick said...

In answer to Anonymous, April 22: my paper was published as “The ‘Traditionalist’ Shâdhiliyya in the West: Guénonians and Schuonians,” in Une voie soufie dans le monde: la Shâdhiliyya, Eric Geoffroy, ed. (Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose, 2005, pp. 453-71). It is followed by J. L. Michon's remarks (pp. 473-80), to which is appended a one-paagraph response of mine. The full texts are not available online, but bits of them may be read on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=iU8r4zQ7jTkC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mark. An informative paper...and a balanced response!

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Given your interest in Perennialism, have you read Jorge Ferrer's book: "Revisioning transpersonal theory: a particpatory vision of human spirituality"? If you haven't, I would highly recommend Chapter 4 in particular (Trouble in Paradise: The Perennial Philosophy Revisited), which is a very thorough and insightful overview of the history and philosophical premises of the idea of the "perennial philosophy" (and not just confined to the Guenon/Schuon school).