By Nader Ahmadi
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Additional info for Iranian Islam: The Concept of the Individual
4 Here Corbin refers to Sohravardian Avicennism or Theosophical Sufism, which finds its climax in Sohravardi's Philosophy of Light (Ishraq). 5 It is noteworthy that Sohravardi (d. 1191) based a great deal of his philosophy on the ideas of Avicenna (Ibn Sina, d. 1037), who is regarded as one of the important figures in the presentation and interpretation of Aristotle's metaphysics in the Islamic world. 6 The interesting point concerning the philosophy of Avicenna is that although his philosophy is regarded as the most important representation of Aristotelian philosophy and the philosophy of Reason in Islamic philosophy, it has a strong tendency towards monism (the theory which admits the equality of all beings) and mysticism.
These two ideas can well illustrate the dualist world-view of Christianity. 42 Indeed, the Christian doctrine of The Individual in ~stern Thought 27 the creation of the world from nothing (creatio ex nihilo) by the instrumentality of the Son, and the idea that the Son is incarnated in the God-man, namely Jesus, can be understood against pure monotheism. As Kurt Almqvist maintains, although Christianity inherited the idea of Unity from Judaism, later, in Christianity, Unity fell into the background as God's incarnation in Jesus became essential and this in turn gave rise to Trinity.
Indeed, if we admit, on the one hand, that in mysticism the point of departure is the idea of the identification of the individual self with God and, on the other hand, that such an identification is impossible in a conception where the body is seen as solely flesh and blood, separated from the soul, then we will not find it difficult to understand why it is chiefly asceticism and not mysticism that prevails in Christianity. When studying the historical differences between the Oriental kind of salvation religions and the Occidental ones, Weber has paid attention to exactly this point.