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Title: Mapping embodied theological space in Ibn 'Arabi and Ramanuja
Author: Waldenmaier, Jacob
ISNI:       0000 0003 7014 4731
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This comparative theology argues for three epistemological nodes across which the theologies ofIbn 'Arabi and Ramanuja can be accurately related: the Internal, External, and Hidden. The mapping is justified by its derivation from the human being's experience as a body, which distinguishes imagination, sensation, and mystery. This proposed 'Embodied Theological Space' (ETS) is explored and contrasted across two theological systems. Ibn 'Arabi, the Andalusian Sufi, develops a theory of the imagination capable of answering many problems of philosophy because the imagination is God's primary vehicle for revelation, with the world as a sensory field and God's transcendence as the hidden reality behind all that is. The Tamil Vaishnava Ramanuja articulates a triadic layering of reality, the highest degree of which is Brahman, followed by cit (mind) and acit (non-mind, or non-conscious entities), all of which are likened to composites of one body. Examining the way in which cit is related to Brahman, and the role of acit in that relationship, elucidates how Ramanuja's system can be mapped in theological space. The systems ofIbn 'Arabi and Ramanuja are then mapped together in theological space over the embodied nodes Internal, External, and Hidden. With this mapping, differences in detail can be correlated across common dimensions because the categories emerge from embodied human experience. This triadic model is offered as a helpful framework for comparative theology that may be applicable not only in comparative but also in multi disciplinary settings, since it can relate different types and contexts of revelation, religious experience, and doctrine. The comparative theological project ultimately constructs a theological ontology from the triadic epistemology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available