Nearly seven centuries after his death in prison in Damascus, Ibn Taymiyya remains controversial ? he even gets a mention in The 9/11 Commission Report ! As manifest in his numerous works, his abiding concern is to explain how to enliven our everyday life by making God for us ?more important than water for fish?. Having himself tasted this ?sweetness of faith,? he testifies from experience: such an objective is not unattainable. He invites to the journey, signposts the way, and proffers a hand to whoever commits himself to it. Whatever has sometimes been said about him, it is obvious that Ibn Taymiyya always was a great spiritual master of the via media, the middle way that is at the heart of traditional Islam. Based on the Taymiyyan texts translated in Yahya Michot?s new book, ?Ibn Taymiyya: Against Extremisms,? this lecture should contribute to a more correct appreciation of one of the most influential of the classical Islamic thinkers.
Dr. Yahya M. Michot joined Hartford Seminary in 2008 as Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. He is also the current editor of the journal ?The Muslim World? edited by the Seminary. Previously he taught Arabic philosophy, language, history and literature in Louvain and Islamic theology and Arabic in Oxford. He has published numerous books and articles about Islamic classical thought, drugs in Muslim societies and Islam in the West. Michot has served as a consultant to various universities, international organizations and official bodies. He is internationally recognized as a specialist of both the Iranian philosopher Avicenna (d. 1037) and the Syrian theologian-mufti Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328).
Copies of ?Ibn Taymiyya: Against Extremisms? will be available for purchase. Yahya Michot will sign copies.