The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) is pleased to announce the publication of An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol. 4: From the School of Illumination to Philosophical Mysticism.

This book, edited by Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Dr Mehdi Aminrazavi, is the latest in this five-volume publication series and covers the rich but one of the least-known periods of philosophical life in Persia, from the eclipse of the school of Khurasan (7th/13th century) to the rise of the Safavids (10th/16th century).

Professor Nasr, a well-known scholar of Islamic philosophy, is currently Professor of Islamic Studies at The George Washington University. Dr Aminrazavi is currently Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mary Washington and Director of its Middle Eastern Studies programme. Translators of the selections include William Chittick, Parviz Morewedge, Omid Safi and Carl Ernst.

This series is the first of its kind and has an extensive scope. According to Dr Aminrazavi, the initial intention was to produce a two-volume work but ‘the richness of philosophical life in Persia necessitated additional volumes’.

This, the penultimate book in a five-volume series, continues to bring out the tradition of philosophical reflection and writing in Persia in a chronological fashion. This volume looks particularly at the Peripatetic School, the School of Illumination of Suhrawardi, and philosophical Sufism, most notably the school of Ibn ‘Arabi. In addition to the highlights of philosophical thinking in Persia during this period, this era also witnessed the important achievements of philosopher-scientists such as Nasir al-din Tusi and Qutb al-Din Shirazi.

In an interview, Dr Aminrazavi said, ‘this is a period about which there is hardly any information or texts known in the Western world. It is for the first time that scholarly translations of the masterpieces belonging to this period are being made available in the English language.'

Professor Nasr notes that this volume, and indeed the series as a whole, has ‘no precedence in the field of Iranian and Islamic Studies’ and is, thus, an innovative study that will interest all students and scholars of Persian philosophy.


Related Pages on the IIS Website:

News Story, 2013: New IIS publication explores the philosophical poetry of Nasir-i Khusraw
News Archive, 2008: New IIS Publication on Philosophy in Persia
Gallery: Wellsprings of Wisdom: Persian Contributions to Ismaili Thought