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The World of Image in Islamic Philosophy

Ibn Sina, Suhrawardi, Shahrazuri and Beyond

L. W. C. van Lit

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Traces the medieval Islamic notion of a world of image from its conception until today

One of the most controversial issues that divided Islamic philosophers and theologians during the Middle Ages was whether human beings would have a spiritual or bodily existence after death. The idea of a world of image was conceived as a solution, suggesting that there exists a world of non-physical (imagined) bodies, beyond our earthly existence. This world may be reached in sleep, in meditation or after death.

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List of Figures of Tables
1. Introduction
2. From Ibn Sīnā to Suhrawardī: The Contested Idea of Using Imagination after Death
3. Suhrawardī’s recognition of an Additional Realm
4. Shahrazūrī on Suhrawardī’s Suspended Images
5. Suhrawardī’s Lukewarm Commentators
6. The reception of Shahrazūrī’s World of Image Up Until the Present Day
7. Conclusion
Appendix A: Edited Passages
Appendix B: List of Persons Mentioned in this Study

About the Author

L W C Van Lit is Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. He has published several journal articles, including in Philosophy East and West, Al-Masaq, Ilahiyat Studies, Tarikh-e ‘Elu and Ishraq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook.

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