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Esoteric Islam in Modern French Thought: Massignon, Corbin, Jambet

Author:

Publisher:

Bloomsbury Academic

Location:

London

Year:

2021

Why would a devout Catholic, a committed Protestant, and a Maoist atheist devote their lives and work to the study of esoteric aspects of Islam? How are these aspects ‘good to think with’? What are the theoretical and intellectual problems to which they provide solutions? These are the questions at the heart of Esoteric Islam in Modern French Thought. The three French specialists of Islam described above form an intellectual and personal genealogy that structures the core of the text: Massignon taught Corbin, who taught Jambet in his turn. Each of them found in the esoteric a solution to otherwise insurmountable problems: desire for Massignon, certainty for Corbin, and resurrection/immortality for Jambet. Over the course of three long chapters focused on the life and work of each writer, the book maps the central place of esoteric Islam in the intellectual life of twentieth and twenty-first century France.

Professor Ziad Elmarsafy is Professor of Comparative Literature at King’s College London. His publications include Sufism in the Contemporary Arabic Novel (2012).

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