|Nuha Al-Sha’ar Presents Paper at Annual American Oriental Society Meeting|
Nuha Al-Sha’ar (Class of 2003) presented a paper entitled ‘Love as Social Aspiration: The Influence of Sufi and Greek Concepts of Love on the Socio-political Thought of the Ikhwan al-Safa’, Miskawayh and al-Tawhidi’ at the 218th meeting of the American Oriental Society on 13th – 17th March 2008 in Chicago.
The paper was presented in a panel devoted to Islamic Philosophy and Science. In addition to Nuha al-Sha’ar from the University of Cambridge, the panel included Professor Abbas Hamadani from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Frank Griffle from Yale University
The paper discusses that while the Brethren of Purity (the Ikhwan al-Safa’) are often studied, much about their teaching on love remains to be investigated. Their position was influenced by Sufi theory on divine love and the form of the good life connected to the Platonic idea of eros (that the universal power of union is essential for the good life) and the Aristotelian idea of philia. The Ikhwan saw love as the moral basis for community since love, as they saw it, is the immense yearning for unity within the soul that is necessary for the attainment of virtue, harmony, and perfection.
Nuha also presented a paper at the 217th meeting of the American Oriental Society last year in San Antonio on ‘Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi and the Social Imaginary: Sadaqa (Friendship) and Social Ethics in the Fourth Century of the Islamic Era’.