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Sufi Narratives of IntimacyIbn 'Arab?, Gender, and Sexuality$
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Sa'diyya Shaikh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835333

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869864_shaikh

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Reading Gender and Metaphor in Ibn ʿArabī's Cosmos

Reading Gender and Metaphor in Ibn ʿArabī's Cosmos

(p.113) Chapter Four Reading Gender and Metaphor in Ibn ʿArabī's Cosmos
Sufi Narratives of Intimacy

Saʿdiyya Shaikh

University of North Carolina Press

As part of Ibn Άrabī's mystical methodology, his works are characterized by paradox, ambivalence, and contradiction. Ibn Άrabī uses gendered metaphors to describe all aspects of reality, including language about God, the nature of the universe, and the cosmic realm of human relationships. This chapter charts a hermeneutical and theoretical map with which to approach Ibn Άrabī's paradoxical writings on women and gender relationships. It also outlines some of his core formulations on gender in relation to his cosmic principles of activity and receptivity, and the universal application of these gender-specific principles.

Keywords:   Ibn Άrabī, mystical methodology, paradox, ambivalence, contradiction, gendered metaphors, God, universe, activity, receptivity

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