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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.