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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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The Poetics and Politics of Adam and Eve

The Poetics and Politics of Adam and Eve

(p.141) Chapter Five The Poetics and Politics of Adam and Eve
Sufi Narratives of Intimacy

Saʿdiyya Shaikh

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores some of Ibn Άrabīs other teachings on men and women, including their relationships of love, desire, sexuality, and marriage. In particular, it focuses on readings of the Abrahamic creation narratives, involving Adam and Eve, which form the center of varying understandings of intimate relationships of love, sexuality, and marriage between men and women. The chapter begins by examining some of the contrasting visions of Adam and Eve within the Quŕānic creation story. In analyzing Ibn Άrabī's writings on gendered myths, the chapter then identifies three intersecting positions that constitute his interpretative approach: (1) his views reflect normative assumptions of male superiority; (2) he asserts the shared humanity of both sexes at all levels of spiritual attainment; and (3) he suggests women's superiority over men by presenting the ways in which women powerfully manifest the divine.

Keywords:   Ibn Άrabī, love, desire, sexuality, marriage, Adam, Eve, creation story, gendered myths

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