Knowing the Spirit

A Book Review by Prof. James W. Morris

Knowing the Spirit provides a concise and remarkably illuminating philosophic account of our unique place in the universe. This revealing book draws together in a single vision those symbolic teachings and spiritual insights familiar to many Western readers today through the classical mystical poetry of Rumi, Hafez, and Attar. The historical context and language of this study are marked by the confluence of classical Islamic philosophy and spirituality and their scriptural sources. But Elahi's thought integrates those influences and marks them with the magisterial imprint of his own profound spiritual experience and characteristic simplicity, openness, and directness of expression.  This volume offers a singular masterpiece of recent spiritual thought, opening up fundamental human perspectives and possibilities too often clouded by the distractions of current events.  The emphatic universality of both the subject and presentation of Knowing the Spirit points the way to unsuspected bridges between different civilizations and religious traditions, indeed to the prospect of an inclusive "science of spirituality" based on the common ground of each person's spiritual life and experience.

James W. Morris is currently Professor of Theology at Boston College. He has previously taught Islamic and comparative religious studies at the University of Exeter, Princeton, Oberlin, the Sorbonne, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in Paris and London.  He has published widely on many areas of religious thought and practice, including the Islamic humanities and mystical poetry, philosophy, Sufism, and the use of cinema in spiritual teaching.  His most recent books include the translation of Ostad Elahi's Knowing the Spirit (SUNY 2007); The Reflective Heart: Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn 'Arabi's 'Meccan Illuminations' (2005); and Orientations: Islamic Thought in a World Civilisation (2004).

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: Monday, April 30, 2007
Location: BORDERS Costa Mesa
              333 Bear Street, Costa Mesa CA 92626
              (714) 432-7854

Knowing the Spirit

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