Thirty-five years after its original publication, Mystical Dimensions of Islam still stands as the most valuable introduction to Sufism, the main form of Islamic mysticism. This edition brings to a new generation of readers Annemarie Schimmel's historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism, from its beginnings through the nineteenth century.
Schimmel's sensitivity and deep understanding of Sufism--its origins, development, and historical context--as well as her erudite examination of Sufism as reflected in Islamic poetry, draw readers into the mood, the vision, and the way of the Sufi. In the foreword, distinguished Islam scholar Carl W. Ernst comments on the continuing vitality of Schimmel's book and the advances in the study of Sufism that have occurred since the work first appeared.
A well-balanced and perceptive general introduction to Sufism.
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Schimmel, Annemarie (1922-2003)/ Frwd - Ernst, Carl
University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill 2011
17 x 24 cm
A well-balanced and perceptive general introduction to Sufism. . . . It is more than an historical account of the development of Sufism; it also deals with the cultural manifestations of mysticism in Islam.--Contemporary Sociology [Assists] the reader in gaining an appreciation of [Sufism's] multifaceted richness. . . . An excellent introduction to the study of the subject.--The International Journal of African Historical Studies A truly beautiful book. . . . Radiates an elegance of style. . . . Replete not only with the poetic insight of the author but with her unquestioned scholarly mastery over materials from the vast culture-sphere of Islam.--International Journal for Philosophy of Religion The approach is comprehensive and informal, the style anecdotal and entertaining, the author's erudition never obtrusive but always reassuringly present." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London A superb achievement. . . . The author has read all the mystics in the original, and all the important works by European scholars. Yet this solid scholarship (evidenced also by the very full bibliography) is completely hidden by a charming and eminently readable style, and by a sureness and lightness of touch which retain the interest of the reader and carry him effortless along.--Journal of Semitic Studies One of the best general books on Sufism.--The Jewish Quarterly Review Combines scholarly criticism with sympathetic appreciation. . . . Progresses historically from the rise of Islam to the modern day, with ample commentary and phenomenological discussion." --Journal of the American Academy of Religion Students of Islam and of comparative religion--as well as those who respond to mysticism--are deeply in the author's debt for giving us what will surely be the standard treatment of Sufism for a long time to come.--America Beautifully written. . . . The best and most comprehensive study on Islamic mysticism in the English language.--Religious Studies Review A major addition to the literature on [Sufism], surpassing in scope and detail all general surveys of Sufism that have hitherto been attempted in western languages. It is destined to become not only a standard introductory textbook, but also a primary source of reference for those who concern themselves, in more specialized manner, with this dimension of Islam. . . . Rich, learned, comprehensive and attractive...a waymark in the western scholarly study of Sufism.--Journal of the American Oriental Society Comprehensive, detailed, and combines sophistication in religious studies with high-level competence in the original sources. . . . Provides far more detail, depth of analysis, breadth of geographical coverage, and sustained clear explication and interpretation of individual topics than can be found in any other survey [of Sufism] in English.--Journal of Near Eastern Studies Schimmel is an undisputed authority in this field. . . . [This] is the most comprehensive and satisfactory survey of the subject, filled with as much empathy and feeling as erudition. . . . Invaluable.--History of Religions Read less