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Practical Mysticism in Islam and Christianity : A Comparative Study of Jalal al-Din Rumi and Meister
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Practical Mysticism in Islam and Christianity offers a comparative study of the work of the Sufi-poet Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) and the practical teachings of the German mystic, Meister Eckhart (c1260-1327/8). Using Eckhart as a comparison partner to ‘reflect’ Rumi’s thought, this book reveals new perspectives on both mystics through each of their similarities and differences.
Rumi has remained an influential figure in Islamic mystical discourse since the thirteenth century, while also extending his impact to the Western spiritual arena, particularly after the late twentieth century. However, due to Rumi’s complex rhetoric, along with the unsystematic style of his oeuvre, his mystical ideas have frequently been interpreted within the frame of other mystical, philosophical, or religious systems. Through its novel approach, this book properly systematizes and reformulates Rumi’s practical mysticism. It approaches mysticism as a coherent structure rather than a collection of unrelated entities, and rejects the imposition of alien systems to interpret any particular mysticism, which often leads to misconceptions. Finally, it holds up Rumi and Eckhart as mirrors of each other’s work, displaying the specific characters and focal points of one another and resulting in a deeper understanding of practical mysticism in both Islam and Christianity.
Offering a critical, comparative examination of practical mysticism, this book is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Islamic or Christian mysticism, the intellectual history of Islam and classical Persian literature.