The Wisdom of the Throne: An Introduction to the Philosophy by James Winston Morris

By James Winston Morris

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Extra info for The Wisdom of the Throne: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mulla Sadra (Princeton Library of Asian Translations)

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Hence the role of the philosopher, prophet, and imam-both for Sadra and for earlier Islamic philosophers-had as a central task positively integrating and mediating these two dimensions of man's being, both in the community and the individual psyche, while always keeping in mind the ultimate end of realization. Sadra's focus on theology and metaphysics, in his reworking of Avicennan philosophy, reflects his full awareness of both sides of that task. 3. Ibn Arabi and Sufism. The writings of Ibn Arabi (d.

Sadra's own understanding of kalam, which closely followed the position of earlier Islamic philosophers, focuses on the more public sociopolitical functions of the kalam theological formulae as a dialectical defense of the necessary forms of popular belief and common ethical norms. 2. Avicennan metaphysics. The metaphysical writings of Avicenna (d. 428/1037), which had been extensively and creatively commented on for several centuries before Sadra's time, formed the theoretical apex of a much more extensive Islamic Aristotelean 34 See the discussion of the interrelation of theological and philosophic concerns and forms of expression in The Wisdom of the Throne in Chapters V and VI.

41 In contrast, Suhrawardi-like Ibn Arabi and others more concerned with bringing about the actual experiential recognition of transcendence-had often concentrated on the radical, but unspecified "difference" of this sort of experience. But the rhetoric suitable to that purpose, although useful, could also lead to dangerous delusions and unwarranted expectations. Sadra's whole elaborate conceptual effort is aimed largely at removing those mistaken impressions of "irrationalism" (or worse) to which that sort of rhetoric has often given rise.

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