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Dr Seyed Amir Hossein Asghari delivers a research seminar exploring ‘Sufism and Philosophy in Shi’i Seminaries.’

On the 8th of May, The Department of Mysticism and Spirituality hosted a seminar by AMI’s visiting fellow, Seyed Amir Hossein Asghari, exploring Sufism and Philosophy in Shi’i Seminaries. He examined the relationship between the School of Najaf and the School of Separation and the connection between Shi’ism, Philosophy and Sufism in the contemporary seminaries of Najaf, Mashhad, and Qom. He traced lines of spiritual heritage through teacher-student relationships to introduce the main figures in both schools and discuss lines of transmission of mystical knowledge. He also discussed the early Shi’i Sufi tradition through figures such as Kumayl b. Ziyad, Ibn Tawus, Hasan b. Hamza al-Palasi al-Shirazi, Ibn Mi’mar and Sayyid Haydar Amuli. Al-Palasi is a key figure who is understudied, and Seyed Amir Hossein spent some time explaining his background and thoughts. The seminar brought to light the effect of debates on the validity of mysticism and philosophy in the traditional seminary on the Shi’i diaspora in modern times.

Speaker Bio:

Dr Seyed Amir Hossein Asghari is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Baylor University, focusing on interreligious understanding and the Islamic Intellectual tradition, notably Sufism and Shiism. His postdoctoral project involves a collaboration with Dr. Paul Martens on “Natural Law: Islamic and Christian Approaches.” Also serving as a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University, where he earned his Ph.D., Asghari’s upcoming academic publication, “Scholars and Mystics,” examines the dialogue between philosophy and Sufism in Shia Seminary.

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