Sacred Web 38
Living in a Post-Real World
By M. Ali Lakhani
Using Ibn ‘Arabi’s trope of the shadow and the Light, the editorial briefly surveys the condition of modern man who is increasingly enshrouded within a tenebrous “post ‑real world”, seemingly oblivious to the Light that casts the shadow—and argues for the need for man to reintegrate with Reality. Read more...
How the Crescent Honored the Christian Stars
By Imad Jafar
How did the conquering Arabs treat the tombs of Christian saints they encountered? Were venerable men such as St. Gregory Palamas and St. Francis of Assisi persecuted by the Muslims they encountered? In this essay, Imad Jafar surveys particular historical instances in which Islam’s relationship with the Christian saints was a very positive one. In the second part of his study, he briefly deals with the case of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, whose name has been preserved in the corpus of hadith literature. Read more...
Narratology as Philosophy:
The Case of the Brethren of Purity
By Ian Richard Netton
The author, a renowned authority on the 10th and 11th century epistolary philosophers known as the Brethren of Purity (in Arabic, Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’), whose teachings were heavily influenced by Ismaili thought, surveys different approaches to their writings before sampling a few of their tales from the perspective of philosophical narratology and drawing out their relevance to our times. Read more...
Qualified Univocity: Māhiyyah in the Light of Wujūd
By Anthony Passeggeri
The question of the fundamental reality or “primacy” (aṣālah) of either being/existence (wujūd) or quiddity/essence (māhiyyah) is a central yet disputed problematic in Islamic philosophy. This essay proffers a synthesis of opposing points of view while exploring the relationship between discursivity and gnosis through a commentary on the Tree of Porphyry. Read more...
The Threshold: Reflections on Gallery Art and the Sacred
By Hieromonk Silouan
“What is the option for the Eastern Orthodox Christian who has no vocation in the realm of liturgical art, such as iconography, yet is in fact a contemporary artist?” This essay addresses the question of how to apply “first principles” in a contemporary art environment that has cast aside Tradition. It approaches the question by reference to the idea of “threshold art” as distinct from “sacred art”. Read more...
PaRDeS: On the Symbolism of the Fountain & the Garden
By Nigel Jackson
Explaining the significance of the Chahr-Bagh and the Edenic symbolism of the Fountain and the Garden (all depicted in Nigel Jackson’s cover illustration for this volume of Sacred Web), this article touches on the esoteric meaning of “Paradise” (as denoted by the Kabbalistic acronym, “PaRDeS”). Read more...
Insights on the Esotericism of Christmas
By Gauthier Pierozak
This essay explores the inner significance of various symbols associated with Christmas: the winter solstice, the North Pole, the fireplace, the Christmas tree, and Santa Claus. Read more...
The Rationale Divinorum Officiorum:
The Foundational Symbolism of the Early Church,
its Structure, Decoration, Sacraments, and Vestments
By Guilielmus Durandus
Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets
By Kathleen Raine
This is an adapted and augmented version of the Introduction to That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets by Kathleen Raine, to be published by Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, spring 2017.
Introduction by Brian Keeble
Ghazaliyat: Three Odes by Hafez of Shiraz
New Translations by Darius Sepehri
Murder is Kind
A Poem concerning ‘the right to die’ by Charles Upton
Two Poems on Light
By M. Ali Lakhani