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The Iranian MetaphysicalsExplorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny$
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Alireza Doostdar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163772.001.0001

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Metaphysics of Vision

Metaphysics of Vision

(p.209) 23 Metaphysics of Vision
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the mystic, as represented in his hagiographies, has managed to purify his conscience through arduous spiritual exercise, how this unpolluted conscience becomes an imaginative resource for ordinary believers to employ as instrument and technique in clarifying their own relationship to God, how the bureaucratization of piety enters the picture, and what consequences this process brings about for contemporary spirituality. One way in which the hagiographies of the mystics become entangled with governmental policies for cultivating a pious citizenry has to do with the criteria and practices through which pious individuals assess their own and others' status in the eyes of God. The chapter first provides an overview of Shiʻi mystical theology before discussing how some key concepts, including insight, extrasensory vision, and the imaginal manifestations of sin and virtue, have become available for ordinary, pious Iranians struggling to live virtuously in uncertain times.

Keywords:   hagiographies, conscience, God, piety, spirituality, mystics, insight, extrasensory vision, sin, virtue

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