The University of Winnipeg



Exploring mysticism down under

Dr. W. Rory Dickson

Compassion, remembrance, and life after death are questions that humans have wrestled with over the ages, across faith and culture.

The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. William Rory Dickson has been invited to speak at the prestigious Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, as part of their The Hidden Treasure: Ibn Arabi Seminar Series.

Dickson’s talk, entitled Ibn Arabi and the Wisdom of Jonah: Compassion, Remembrance, and Life after Death, explores how Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), an Islamic mystic philosopher, engages the Bible and the Qur’an to draw out a humanistic vision of religion that emphasizes compassion and pluralism.

The series highlights the relevance of one of Islam’s most important philosophers to contemporary concerns, inviting leading scholars in the field to discuss his works.

Title pages of al-Dawr al-a‘la or the Hizb al-wiqaya. MS Landberg 737 (Berlin), courtesy of the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society

This seminar series is organized by the Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative at Monash University and the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (Oxford, UK).

His talk is based on a chapter of his latest book project, as part of the United Church of Canada Research Chair in Contemporary Theology at UWinnipeg.

The book, tentatively titled Dissolving into Being: Understanding Sufism and Islam through Ibn Arabi’s Fusus al-Hikam, attempts to offer a contemporary commentary on Ibn Arabi’s most famous work, drawing out its relevance to issues of interfaith dialogue, pluralism, and justice.

The talk will be given via Zoom on Saturday, August 7. It’s free and open to the public. Visit the link Ibn Arabi and the Wisdom of Jonah: Compassion, Remembrance, and Life after Death to register.

Dickson is an associate professor of Islamic Religion and Culture, and Chair in the Department of Religion and Culture.

His research focuses on contemporary Islam in general, and on Islamic mysticism (Sufism) in particular. His first book, Living Sufism in North America: Between Tradition and Transformation (SUNY 2015)explores the ways in which Sufi leaders in North America negotiate Sufism’s to Islam, authority, and gender.


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