Saturday, November 13, 2021

Extended article on Aguéli's Sufism and Humanism

The Israeli scholar Meir Hatina contributed a chapter on "Ivan Aguéli's humanist vision: Islam, Sufism and universalism" to the edited collection Anarchist, Artist, Sufi: The Politics, Painting, and Esotericism of Ivan Aguéli. He has now published an extended version of that chapter as "Turning to the East, Rescuing the West: Sufism and Humanism in Ivan Aguéli’s Thought" in the journal Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations. See

From the abstract:

Aguéli’s universal humanism, with Sufism as its main lever, is analysed and located within a transnational intellectual landscape through networks of people, ideas and print media. By attracting Western pilgrims, Sufism served as a nexus of cultural transfer from the Middle East to Europe, thus casting doubts on the prevailing paradigm of Western enlightenment as the backbone of global intellectual history. Sufism was presented by Aguéli as a spiritual philosophy that dealt with the liberation of man from materialism and selfishness. The article deals with a number of issues: How did Aguéli transform Islam and Sufism into a cosmopolitan vision? To what extent was his humanism nurtured by anarchist philosophy, which promoted a just society? Did Aguéli reconcile the anarchist perception of human beings as free creatures with the Sufi perception of total submission to a Sufi master?