Deciphering the Signs of God - A Phenomenological Approach to Islam
*[A5+] Paperback - xvii + Total 319 pages,
by: Annemarie Schimmel,
Published by SUNY Press, New York.
The Qur'an constantly exhorts people to 'look at the signs of God,' signs that are hidden 'in the horizons and in themselves.' This book examines the mysteries of Islam using a phenomenological method to come closer to the true center of Muslim belief.
The author takes as her starting point the simplest 'signs of God'-- natural phenomena like stones, plants and animals, and their use in religious and symbolic language. She then moves on to less obvious signs, such as sacred time and space, ritual actions, forms of worship, the sacred individual, and the order of the community. She concludes with an examination of the individual's response to the mystery of the Divine. Based on both original classical sources and modern literature, as well as the author's considerable personal experience, this is not only a fascinating survey of Islamic practices and beliefs, but also a broad and intregrated overview of the phenomenology of Islam.
''Like any movement in the realm of ideas, a religious faith has the same
right to be judged according to its real and veritable intentions and not
according to the way in which human weakness and meanness may
have falsified and maimed its ideals.''
Review: "This is one of Schimmel's most important books. It sums up a lifetime of scholarship on Islam and, more importantly, it puts her understanding of Islam into a phenomenological framework that will readily be appreciated by scholars and students of other religious traditions. It will be looked back upon as a landmark in bringing Islamic Studies into the mainstream of religious studies."--- William C. Chittick.
Annemarie Schimmel was for many years Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture at Harvard University. She is author of numerous works, including Islam: An Introduction; and The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaluddin Rumi, and the editor of the SUNY Press series, Muslim Spirituality in South Asia. Among the more unusual honours that have been awarded to her are the naming of a boulevard in Lahore, Pakistan, after her and the Levi Della Vida Medal for outstanding contributions to Islamic studies presented by the University of California.
Table of Contents
---List of Abbreviations,
---Chapter [I]. Sacred Aspects of Nature and Culture,
------Plants and Animals,
---Chapter [II]. Sacred Space and Time,
---Chapter [III]. Sacred Action,
---Chapter [IV]. The Word and the Script,
------The Word, About God, and From God,
------The Word to God,
---Chapter [V]. Individual and Society,
------The Human Being,
---Chapter [VI]. God and His Creation: Eschatology,
---Chapter [VII]. How to Approach Islam?
------Index of Qur'anic Quotations.
''And We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves''- Surah 41:53.
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Dimensions : 22.9 x 15.1cm.