World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Cutting through Uncertain Boundaries: Debates and Cultural Influences in the Medieval World (250) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: WED 21, 2.30-4.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Alicante University, Spain

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Víctor Pallejà de Bustinza

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Much discussion has been cumulated during the last decades about the cultural influences between the East and the West along the medieval times. Problems of old and new issues need to be carefully studied to shed new light upon them. The present panel proposes to pay a particular interest in the methodological aspects involved in this sort of researches to much the best possible standards in human sciences. Focusing in cultural and speculative ideas Dr. Víctor Pallejà de Bustinza will present a general overview about Ibn ‘Arabî’s alleged link with the Ishrâqî schools. Dr. Patrizia Spallino and Dr. Ivana Panzeca will discuss a XIIIth century philosophical correspondence which took place between Nasr al-Dîn Tûsî and Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî. Finally, Dr. Josep Cutillas will Love concept and Loving Couple in Islamic Persian Literature.

Chair: Dr. Víctor Pallejà de Bustinza (Alicante University)

Paper presenter: Víctor Pallejà de Bustinza (Alicante University), “Ibn ‘Arabî (m. 1240) and the ‘Ishraqî’ traditions: new views around and old issue”
As Ibn ‘Arabî capital place in the history of Islamic culture is unanimously acknowledged, the exact nature of his thinking seems yet to be clarified. Particularly, the relation between Ibn ‘Arabî and the ‘ishraqî’ schools needs to be ascertained. Many statements about this matter remain unproven or concealed to general and sometimes contradictory statements. To deepen into this problem of old, the historical links between the Ishraqî schools settled in Meragha and the sufi’s of al-Andalus might be stretched by means of some new evidences. On the other hand, their doctrinal relationship seems to be reduced to several common sources and, therefore, needs to be restated in a completely different way.

Paper presenter: Patricia Spalino (Officina di Studi Medievali, Palermo). “Murasilât bayna Nasîr al-Dîn al-Tûsî (d. 1274) and Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî (d. 1274): the state of art (part I)”
The ultimate aim of the presentation is the study of the philosophical correspondence between Nasîr al-Dîn al-Tûsî (d. 1274) and Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî (d. 1274), together with relative philosophical analysis. Following textbook clichés, in our area of research, there is the tendency to separate these two spheres of knowledge (philosophical and mystical speculation), with the conviction that the boundary between the two fields is distinct and easily determined; yet, by reading the texts attentively, it is clear that this kind of division is not only incorrect but misleading.

Paper presenter: Ivana Panzeca (Officina di Studi Medievali, Palermo), “Murasilât bayna Nasîr al-Dîn al-Tûsî (d. 1274) and Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî (d. 1274): the state of art (part II)”
Following the study of the philosophical correspondence between Nasîr al-Dîn al-Tûsî (d. 1274) and Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî (d. 1274), together with relative philosophical analysis, this panel will focus on the dialectic exchange between the two writers which generated a strong and stimulating creative tension: both schools of thought asked themselves the question as to which would be the most reliable way to acquire knowledge relating to the nature of things and God, placing hikma (wisdom) at the very centre of their research.

Paper presenter: Jose F. Cutillas Ferrer (Alicante University), “Love concept and Loving Couple in Islamic Persian Literature”
The object of the present study is, first and foremost, to study the epic poems on loving couple and the Love Concept present in Persian Classical Literature, in the cultural context of the Islamic world. In addition, we study in this project the possible evolution of the Love Concept in connection with some Islamic ideas. This part of our study is meant to provide a basis for further scholarly work. The second object is to search the surrounding literary and artistic context provided by this literary couple models.

Paper presenter: Concepció Peig (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Spain), “Nasrid architectural culture: beyond space, beauty speaks and sacred geometry”
Islamic culture runs through indirect ways to present their thoughts. His obsession with repetition, the abstract shapes hiding in the design essence is the need of expressing their beliefs in a highly encrypted beautiful message. In its repetitive symmetry is sensed the desire to convey a timeless message or messenger.
The search for new ideas from the free and bold creative method to make changes based on the same subject, made them able to develop in the mosaics of the Alhambra, the 17 possibilities we now know scientifically through the discovery of X-rays and Theory of Crystallographic Groups Plans.

Paper presenter: Yolanda Antín, (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), “Mahzor Catalonia for Yom Kippur and Rosh ha-Shannah and its development”
Mahzor Catalonia is the prayer book created and used by the Jewish communities in Medieval Catalonia for the festivals of Yom Kippur and Rosh ha-Shannah. The content is formed by statutory prayers and liturgical poems or piyyutim. This content was modified during the Diaspora of the Catalan Community after the expulsion of 1391. The liturgical activity developed by the Catalan communities in the Diaspora modified the Catalan ritual, influenced by local traditions and vice versa. In consequence, it is important to consider the evolution of the Mahzor from its creation within the Catalan community in Catalan territory, and its continued development in the Catalan Diaspora in the context of the local rituals of the places were Catalans Jews settled down. In this evolution, we may not disregard the impact of external influences of the Christian and Muslim host communities. These exchanges, with consequences both in the communities and the text itself, haven’t been sufficiently studied to follow up the evolution of the content of Mahzor Catalonia.