Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
Sufism and Ancient Wisdom
Sufism and Ancient Wisdom

Sufism and Ancient Wisdom


350 Pages, 6.5 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $43.95 (US $43.95) (CA $58.95)

Publication Date: October 2020

ISBN 9781901383379

Rights: US & CA

Archetype (Oct 2020)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: October 2020


This monograph is the first serious attempt to reinterpret ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian wisdom in the light of Sufi metaphysics

Drawing upon a wide range of ancient sources as well as contemporary scholarly research this ground-breaking book reveals the astonishing continuity and the historical transformation of spiritual patterns from the Assyrian and Babylonian to the Islamic civilization. It argues that in Sufism the main metaphysical content of ancient wisdom can be shown to have been preserved and reinterpreted in accordance with Quranic revelation, following the pattern of prevailing monotheistic Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mythologies. Such motifs include the Divine covenant and human kingship, Lordship and servant hood, holy war and the return to primordial integrity. Recurring myths and rituals of cosmogony and eschatology, of ontological irradiation and spiritual deconstruction, constitute a dialectical play which re-appear in the context of Sufism, that is, in the context of traditional Islamic piety and sacred rites.


"The author was not only an astute scholar, but combined noetic wisdom in this insightful exposé of the Orphic-Pythagorean-Platonic tradition or "stream of consciousness." Modern academia would be well advised to reconsider the true function of philosophy as an aspect of the perennial wisdom and its transformative power as opposed to the current vogue of dry intellectualism." (Amazon review of Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism) "Clearly a master on the subject. Not many books show the relationship between Orpheus and Platonism in such a concise and clear way." (Amazon review)

Author Biography

ALGIS UŽDAVINYS (1962–2010) was a Lithuanian philosopher and scholar. He was Head of the Department of Humanities at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Kaunas Faculty, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Lithuanian State Institute of Culture, Philosophy, and Arts. In 2005 he was awarded the Andrew Mellon fellowship to the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan. His research included work on Hellenic philosophy, especially Platonism and Neoplatonism, as well as traditional mythology and metaphysics, Sufism, and traditional art. His books have been published in French, Russian and Lithuanian and English and include, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism (2008) and Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity (2010).