Liana Saif, Francesca Leoni, and Matthew Melvin-KoushkiJul 10, 2023
Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice
Islamicate Occult Sciences in Theory and Practice (Brill, 2020) brings together the latest research on Islamic occult sciences from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, namely intellectual history, manuscript studies, and material culture. Its aim is not only to showcase the range of pioneering work that is currently being done in these areas but also to provide a model for closer interaction amongst the disciplines constituting this burgeoning field of study. Furthermore, the book provides a rare opportunity to bridge the gap on an institutional level by bringing the academic and curatorial spheres into dialogue.
Dr. Liana Saif pays special attention to intercultural exchanges of esoteric and occult ideas between the Islamicate and Latinate worlds all the way to the European Renaissance, as reflected in her first monograph “The Arabic Influences on Early Modern Occult Philosophy” published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. She explores there the Islamic scientific and natural-philosophical foundations of the theories of astral influences that “naturalised” astrology and astral magic, becoming sciences that explore the dynamics that link the terrestrial and celestial worlds, thus co-producing knowledge about nature and the cosmos, and resulting in a universe more intelligible to both Muslim scientists and philosophers, and their European counterparts.
Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of the occult sciences and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome.