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"God is beautiful and He loves beauty": The Metaphysics of Aesthetics in the Islamic Tradi

Exploring the relationship between beauty and reality, aesthetics and metaphysics.

What is the relationship between beauty and reality; between aesthetics and metaphysics? This lecture proposes some answers to this question from the point of view of the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and certain sages and saints in the Islamic mystical tradition. It will be argued that beauty, plumbed in depth, creates a path leading to the realization of ultimate Reality; and that ultimate Reality manifests its innermost nature most revealingly through beauty.

This lecture will be given by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi, who is an author of works on Comparative Religion and Islam, and currently works as a Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Among his recent works are the following: My Mercy Encompasses All: The Koran's Teachings on Peace, Love and Compassion (2007); Common Ground between Islam and Buddhism (2010); Spiritual Quest: Reflections on Qur'anic Prayer according to the Teachings of Imam Ali (2011); and The Spirit of Tolerance in Islam (2012). He is currently working on a volume of selected essays entitled The Same God? Essays on Muslim-Christian Understanding; and a biography of Imam Ali, entitled Ali Ibn Abi Talib: The Triumph of Sanctity.


Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi | talks


Date and Time:

27 November 2013 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way
0207 388 4539
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Organised by:

The Prince's School of Traditional Arts
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Available from:

Online: http://www.psta.org.uk/publicprogramme/172/

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