A. Azfar Moin, Cosmos of Justice: Sufi Metaphysics and Imperial Ethics after the Mongols

05/04/2022 17:00


After the Mongols destroyed the Abbasid caliphate, Muslim Asia witnessed the spread of a particular style of Sufi metaphysics that was openly Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean. There was also a parallel rise in the use of cosmic knowledge—astrological, numerological, alchemical, and so on—to adorn the king's body and shape the affairs of state. Were these phenomena related to changing conceptions of justice and political ethics in post-caliphal Islam? This is the question taken up in this lecture, which explores it in comparative and longue durée perspectives.

A. Azfar Moin is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam.

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