On Thursday, April 13, at the Center for Contemplative Sciences (University of Virginia) Alexander D. Knysh, head of the Scientific Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes, Professor of Islamic Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies gave a lecture “Quranic Exegesis and Mystical Experience: Sufis and Quran”.
Sufism is a mystic-ascetic movement in Islam, distinguished by the diversity and richness of ideas and their practical implementation, as well as a significant contribution to the development of the institutional environment and the arts, in particular architecture. The lecture was devoted to the consideration of the approach of adherents of this direction to the Quran and the achievement of certain states of consciousness through the recitation of the Sacred Text. The exoteric reading of Scripture sometimes led to a sharp transformation of the exegete itself, caused by the collision of the ideas of the Koran with the personal experience and beliefs of the Sufi. Such exoteric and empirical practices were considered in the report in a historical and comparative perspective.
The event was supported by the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, the Medieval Studies Program and the Center for the Study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia of the University of Virginia.