© Privat

Suprarationality in the Poetry of ʿAṭṭar

Prof. Dr. Cyrus A. Zargar (University of Central Florida in Orlando)

online lecture │25 April 2024 │ 6:00 pm (CET)

The Persian poet Farīd al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār (d. 618/1221) lived at a turning point in Islamic thought, in a region of the world — eastern Iran — that prided itself on serving as a hub of religious scholarship. While Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) had already addressed the influence of philosophers such as Ibn Sīnā (d. 428/1037) on intellectuals, debates raged between theologians inclined toward rational solutions to the problem of knowing God and those who favored closer adherence to the words of the Qurʾān and the Ḥadīth. For ʿAṭṭār the question was not about the capability of any science to know God, for God is unknowable by human reason. Rather, the question was about the effects of these sciences on the human ego. Through an analysis of ʿAṭṭār’s major works, this lecture considers ʿAṭṭār’s views on selfhood, knowledge, and that which lies beyond reason in hopes of exploring lingering questions about the relevance of the rational sciences for an intuitive understanding of Islamic theological claims.


Cyrus Ali Zargar is Al-Ghazali Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies and Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida. Zargar’s research interests focus on the metaphysical, aesthetic, and ethical intersections between Sufism and Islamic philosophy. His most recent book, The Polished Mirror: Storytelling and the Pursuit of Virtue in Islamic Philosophy and Sufism, was published in 2017 by Oneworld Press. His forthcoming book with the State University of New York Press, Religion of Love, concerns Sufi ethics and the theme of self-transformation in the corpus of the Persian poet ʿAṭṭār.


You can find more information about the lecture series here.

Contact: Dr. Raid Al-Daghistani – raid.aldaghistani@uni-muenster.de

ZOOM-Code: https://wwu.zoom-x.de/j/68440994551