Conference of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE): “Islamic Esotericism in Global Contexts” — Online, with registration, 03-05/12/2020

​“Islamic Esotericism in Global Contexts”
2020 ENSIE Conference

Online at Zoom, 35 December 2020.
​Registration before 1 December at

The conference examines Islam and esotericism, from Sufism and dreams to sorcery and magic, in al-Andalus, the historical and contemporary Middle East, Africa, and the West.



All times are CET (UTC+01:00)


Day one, 3 December

12:45–13:00: Welcome and introduction

13:00–15:00: Panel 1. Moderator: Liana Saif
  • Pierre Lory (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes), “Satanic Dreams in Islam”.
  • Eyad Abu Ali (Utrecht University), “Imagined Bodies in Medieval Sufism: Boundaries of corporeality in Sufi dream manuals”.
  • Marinos Sariyannis (FORTH/IMS, Greece), “Languages of Ottoman esotericism”.
  • Dimitrios Giagtzoglou (University of Crete), “Is there an Ottoman Lettrist tradition?” 

15:00–15:30: Break

15:30–17:00: Panel 2Moderator: Francesco Piraino ​
  • José Bellver (Université Catholique de Louvain), “Ibn Barrajān and the Science of Letters”.
  • Michele Petrone (Université Catholique de Louvain), “Artificial Creation of Human Life: Ibn Waḥšiyya as a source of the Futūḥāt al-makkiyya”.
  • Arjan Post ( KU Leuven), “Al-Wāsiṭī’s (d. 711/1311) Ṭarīqa Muḥammadiyya: Neither of the East nor of the West”.


Day TWO, 4 December

13:00–15:00: Panel 3Moderator: Liana Saif 
  • Ariela Marcus Sells (Elon University), “Sorcery or Science: Contesting Practice in the Work of the Kunta Scholars”.
  • Oludamini Ogunnaike (University of Virginia), “The Sage of the Sokoto Caliphate: Shaykh Dan Tafa and the Sciences of the Unseen”.
  • Ayodeji Ogunnaike (Bowdoin College), “Spreading Sands: Khaṭṭ al-Raml and Indigenous African Divination”.
  • Zachary Wright (Northwestern University in Qatar), “Islamic Esotericism in West Africa: From Timbuktu to Senegal, 15th to 20th centuries”.

15:00–15:30: Break

15:30–17:00: Panel 4Moderator: Michele Petrone 
  • Emily Selove (University of Exeter), “Sirāj al-Dīn al-Sakkākī: The Currents and Links of Poetry and Magic”.
  • Luca Patrizi (University of Exeter), “Magical Hydromancy’s Practice Involving a Goblet and a Young Boy in the Kitāb al-Shāmil by Sakkākī (d. 1160): A Reminiscence of the Ancient Myth of the Cupbearer?” 
  • Giovanni Maria Martini (Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale), “The Occult Properties of the Qurʾān (Khawāṣṣ al-Qurʾān): A Concept and Literarily Genre Connecting Religious and Occult Sciences in the Islamicate World”.


Day THREE, 5 December

12:00–13:30: Panel 5Moderator: Mark Sedgwick  
  • Mattias Gori Olesen (Aarhus University), “The Perennial Solidarity of the East: Esotericism and pan-Orientalism in interwar Egypt”.
  • Youna Eskandari (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), “Approaching the unseen of the Islamic Revolution of Iran through René Guénon”.
  • Ahmad Bostani (Khārazmi University, Tehran), “Alexander Dugin and Post-Revolutionary Iranian Conservatives: Esotericism as Political Ideology”.

13:30–14:00: Break

14:00–16:00: Panel 6Moderator: Michele Petrone  
  • Federico Stella (Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale), “The Mi‘rāj of Muḥammad according to Baldassarre Loyola Mandes S.J. (1631-1667). Between Controversy and Christianization”.
  • Gowaart Vandenbossche (Aga Khan University), “Esoteric knowledge, historical memory, colonial fantasy: Thinking with manuscripts from late medieval Maṣyāf”.
  • Rasoul Namazi (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), “How to write an esoteric text: Practice of Esoteric Writing in the Thought of Leo Strauss”.
  • Michael Muhammad Knight (University of Central Florida), “Scientists, Imams, and Gods: Theosophy and Epistemology in the Nation of Islam”.

16:00–16:15: Break

16:15–17:00: Closing plenary



The meeting is organized by
  • Mark Sedgwick, Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, Aarhus University, and Convener of ENSIE.
  • Liana Saif, Research Associate, Warburg Institute.
  • Godefroid de Callataÿ, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Université catholique de Louvain.
  • Michele Petrone, Postdoc, Université catholique de Louvain.
  • Francesco Piraino, Postdoc, IDEMEC-CNRS – Fondazione Giorgio Cini.



The 2020 meeting is arranged in cooperation with the ERC project on Philosophy in al-Andalus (PhilAnd), and the Université catholique de Louvain.


Citer ce billet
Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2020, 24 novembre). Conference of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE): “Islamic Esotericism in Global Contexts” — Online, with registration, 03-05/12/2020. IISMM. Consulté le 15 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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