Seyyed Hossein Nasr

The following from this article – “the quest for knowledge, specifically knowledge which enables man to understand the true nature of things and which furthermore, ‘liberates and delivers him from the fetters and limitations of earthly existence’” – epitomizes Dr. Nasr’s achievement. With all respects to him – despite his Shi`i origins – and those who stood for Islam in Western Press during the middle of the last century, we might put in that any religious scholar has to be measured by how successful he was in bringing people closer to Allah and the literature that leads to that effect.

 

Seyyed Hossein Nasr is one of the most important Islamic thinkers of our time, and quite possibly one of the most influential philosophers of the present era, East or West.

SeyyedThe highest honor a philosopher can receive is to be nominated by his peers for inclusion in the series of The Library of Living Philosophers, which began with The Philosophy of John Dewey, includes the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead, Einstein and others and whose recent entry is The Philosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr. And the highest honor a theologian can receive is to be invited to deliver the Gifford Lectures in Glasgow, Scotland. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is the only non-Western philosopher ever to have received both of these honors. The Gifford Lectures always eventuates in a book, and the one that contains Nasr’s lectures is Knowledge and the Sacred, one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

He is one of the first and only scholars to master both Islamic and Western Philosophy, the scope of Nasr’s influence is only matched by the breadth and profundity of his work, which addresses fields as diverse as metaphysics, ecology, the history of science, the philosophy of science, ethics, epistemology, art and aesthetics, hermeneutics, comparative religion, and mysticism.

Author of over fifty books and five hundred articles which have been translated into several major Islamic, European and Asian languages, Professor Nasr is a well-known and highly respected intellectual figure both in the West and the Islamic world.

An eloquent speaker with a charismatic presence, Nasr is a much sought-after speaker at academic conferences and seminars, university and public lectures and also radio and television programs in his area of expertise. Possessor of an impressive academic and intellectual record, his career as a teacher and scholar spans over five decades.

Born in 1933, Professor Nasr began his illustrious teaching career in 1955 when he was still a young and promising, doctoral student at Harvard University. Over the years, he has taught and trained an innumerable number of students who have come from the different parts of the world, and many of whom have become important and prominent scholars in their fields of study.

He has trained different generations of students over the years since 1958 when he was a professor at Tehran University and then, in America since the Iranian revolution in 1979, specifically at Temple University in Philadelphia from 1979 to 1984 and at the George Washington University since 1984 to the present day.

The range of subjects and areas of study which Professor Nasr has involved and engaged himself with, in his academic career and intellectual life, are immense.

As demonstrated by his numerous writings, lectures and speeches, Professor Nasr speaks and writes with great authority on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from philosophy to religion to spirituality, to music and art and architecture, to science and literature, to civilizational dialogues and the natural environment.

For Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, the quest for knowledge, specifically knowledge which enables man to understand the true nature of things and which furthermore, “liberates and delivers him from the fetters and limitations of earthly existence,” has been and continues to be the central concern and determinant of his intellectual life.

[Courtesy: https://gwu.academia.edu/SeyyedHosseinNasr – 6th July 2016]