• 15 Sep 2016
  • The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • Talks and Lectures

Between Medieval Sufi Apologetics and Polemics: The Rise and Fall of Awhad al-Din Kirmani (d.1238)

Annemarie Schimmel Memorial Lecture

Awhad al-Din Kirmani is a controversial figure among the pantheon of great Sufi masters from the medieval period. He occupied perhaps the most prestigious position to which a Sufi could aspire, for the caliph appointed him the shaykh al-shuyukh of the Marzubiyya convent in Baghdad. Yet within a generation, he was vilified by the most prestigious Sufis of the age, including Rumi, and by others who cited the opinions of Suhrawardi and Shams-i Tabrizi. This presentation re-opens the case of Kirmani and attempts to make sense of the controversy in light of the development of Sufism in the medieval period.

The Annemarie Schimmel Fellowship, inaugurated in 2004, is awarded every three years to a scholar working in the fields of interest to the late Professor Schimmel such as Islamic mysticism, Arabic, Persian and South Asian literatures and literary and artistic expressions of Muslim devotional life.

This lecture will be introduced by Professor Ali Asani - Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religions and Cultures, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations, Harvard University.


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Dr Lloyd Ridgeon

Dr Lloyd Ridgeon is Reader in Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is primarily interested in medieval Persian Sufism and has published a number of works in this field, as well as in associated areas, including jawanmardi. He is the editor of The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and Iran. Dr Ridgeon was awarded the Annemarie Schimmel Fellowship in 2013.