Three Aspects of the Absolute (India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur, 1823 | Mehrangarh Museum Trust RJS 2399)
A Comparative Project by Jane Mikkelson and Timothy Harrison [Worlds Together Shined: Bidel, Traherne, and Experiments in Comparison]
Session 4 of the multidisciplinary workshop series on Steadfast Imagining: Lyric Meditation, Islamic Philosophy, and Comparative Religion in the Works of Bidel of Delhi (d. 1720)
Friday, December 11, 20201:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Pacific Time)
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This is Session 4 of the multidisciplinary workshop, Steadfast Imagining: Lyric Meditation, Islamic Philosophy, and Comparative Religion in the Works of Bidel of Delhi (d.1720) organized and led by Prof. Domenico Ingenito (UCLA, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) and Dr. Jane Mikkelson (University of Virginia) in cooperation with scholars working in Persian Studies, Islamic Studies, South Asian, Near Eastern, and Central Asian Studies, English, Anthropology, and Comparative Literature. All sessions will be held in English, and all reading materials (both primary and secondary sources) will be circulated and presented in English translation.
There are tantalizing similarities between the poetry of Bidel and his contemporaries and early modern English meditative poetry. These literary traditions are not in direct contact with each other, yet they operate in strikingly similar ways (for instance, in their assimilation of scientific ideas and engagement with philosophy and theology). Moreover, these poets are co-inheritors, through very different vectors, of Aristotealian rationalism, Neoplatonism, and Avicennan ideas. How should we think about traditions that are not in direct contact with each other, but have partially shared lineages? Timothy Harrison joins us to talk about our collaboration-in-progress. We are co-authoring an essay in which we investigate how Thomas Traherne and Bidel—living worlds apart, not at all in contact—come to compose strikingly similar accounts of infant experience (being in the womb, birth, first sensations, breastfeeding) at the same moment in the seventeenth century. In this session, we make a pitch for the importance of collaboration and discuss possible methods for comparing premodern European and Islamic literary traditions.
In conversation with Timothy Harrison (English, University of Chicago)
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For more information about the workshop as a whole, including the complete schedule of meetings, please see the announcement here.
The workshop is sponsored and organized by UCLA Program on Central Asia (in collaboration with Iranian Studies), and co-sponsored by the Center for India and South Asia, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.
For questions about the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Center for India and South Asia, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Iranian Studies