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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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Hagiographies Unbound

Hagiographies Unbound

(p.229) Hagiographies Unbound
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the hagiographies of friends of God enable manifold readings that enable different forms of attachment to Islamic discourses of ethical self-care and spiritual wayfaring. On the one hand, these readings fully inhabit a mystically inclined Shiʻi tradition featuring proponents and detractors that are both powerful and influential. On the other hand, reading becomes an exercise in a kind of unspoken eclecticism that brings Islamic mysticism under the sign of a universal spirituality through the mediation of the imported sciences of metaphysics. The notion that the marvels of God's friends may be acquired through something other than pious discipline both depends on the Islamic mystical tradition and exceeds it. The chapter compares the search for technical formulas for securing pious self-certainty with other forms of metaphysical experimentation, namely, those that emphasize personal experience, empiricist methods, and scientific models.

Keywords:   hagiographies, friends of God, self-care, spiritual wayfaring, mysticism, spirituality, metaphysics, marvels, self-certainty, metaphysical experimentation

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