Monday, 11 July 2016, 05.30 PM-07.30 PM
The philosophical or theoretical foundations of modern psychology are sometimes thought to be at odds with the mystical traditions of the Abrahamic religions, especially with Islamic mysticism. Stemming, in part, from a Cartesian overemphasis on epistemology, to the virtual exclusion of ontology, this position is somewhat justified. However, an examination of the deep connection between Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition helps to overcome this apparent rift, as it puts ontology back on the table—an ontology without which traditional Abrahamic mysticism would dissolve. By extension, then, and with the aid of the ‘ilm al-nafs al-takamuli school of thought that thrived in the late 1940’s and 1950’s in Egypt under the brilliant guidance of Yusuf Murad (1902-1966), an attempt is made here to undergird a few of the essential links between Islamic mysticism exemplified in Ibn ‘Arabi and the Western psychological tradition exemplified in Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
Edward J. Alam is Professor at Notre Dame University-Louaizé (NDU), Lebanon, in the Faculty of Humanities, where he has taught philosophy, cultural studies, and theology since 1996. He is Director of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy in Lebanon and the Near East. He holds NDU’s Benedict XVI Endowed Chair of Religious, Cultural, and Philosophical Studies. He has published widely in the fields of philosophy, theology, religion/science, and metaphysics/mysticism. He was nominated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 as Consultor on the Pontifical Council of Culture.