The Comparison Project hosts Tamara Albertini, professor of philosophy at the University of Hawai’i, whose lecture on Muslim mysticism will continue the Project’s ongoing theme of “Religion Beyond Words.”
Albertini will deliver her free lecture, “Love Is to Renounce Naming the Beloved: Muslim Mystic al-Rabi’a and Her Teaching of the Ineffable, ” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16 in the Olmsted Center’s Sussman Theater, 2875 University Ave., on the Drake campus.
Albertini’s lecture will discuss the female Muslim mystic, Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya (d. 801). Widely considered one of the most influential mystics of Sufism, Rabi’a almost exclusively steered its early spirit away from austere asceticism and toward the path of divine love. Albertini will analyze Rabi’a’s mystical poetry with respect to her struggle to express an ineffable love for Allah.
Raised in North Africa, Albertini learned Arabic and attended Qur’anic classes as a child. She later obtained a graduate degree in philosophy from the University of Basel in Switzerland and a doctorate in philosophy from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, both specializing in Islamic studies. She has published a breadth of works that aim to reintroduce the vigor and vision of Muslim intellectual contributions from the classical period.
Albertini’s lecture is to be preceded at 6 p.m. by an hour-long guided meditation, led by the Des Moines-based meditation group Meditation Around Town. The group leads guided meditations in the greater Des Moines area every third Thursday of the month. For more information, visit www.meditationaroundtown.com.
The Comparison Project is sponsored by the Drake University Humanities Center, Humanities Iowa, The Medbury Fund, The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University, Des Moines Area Religious Council, and Cultivating Compassion: The Richard Deming Foundation.