Syllabus of “Comparative Mysticism”


College ICAS
Degree M.A.
Course Title Comparative Mysticism
Course Code
Level Postgraduate
Credit Hours
Contact Hours

(if any)


(if any)

Teaching Methodology
Method of Evaluation
Semester Offered
Course Objectives

Learning Outcomes
Course Synopsis (course description)

It is essential in this course that students have a correct understanding of what is meant by ‘comparative studies’. Professor Hossein Nasr in some of his works had clearly explained the nature and criteria of having a meaningful comparative study. He stressed so much on the word ‘meaningful study’. A comparative study does not simply mean that a student embarks on a study in search of apparent or superficial similarities and differences. This kind of comparative study will lead to nothing except maybe create more confusion and misunderstandings.

Apart from having a meaningful study, it is imperative that the students understand the meaning of the ‘mysticism’ and its implications in this particular study. It is also essential that this comparison will in a sense create certain awareness on how the Truth manifests Himself in many forms in religions. Because in the words of Professor Nasr, the only aspect of religion that will do full justice in this study is its esoteric dimension.

The subject will deal with three essential elements in Mysticism, the doctrinal , the spiritual ascension and finally the existential return.


Week Topics Description of the Topics Recommended Readings
1 What it means to have a meaningful comparative study.
2 The Philosophia Perennis and the Study of Religion. The comparative study;

1) doctrinal 2) spiritual ascent 3) existential return. Hindu, Islam, and Christian.

3 Shankara I
4 Shankara II
5 Shankara III
6 Ibn ‘Arabi I
7 Ibn ‘Arabi II
8 Ibn ‘Arabi III
9 Meister Eckhart I
10 Meister Eckhart II
11 Meister Eckhart III


– you need to make one topic more to complete the syllabus


  1. Islam and the Plight of Modern Man; chap. 3 and 4
  2. Sufi Essays chap 9
  3. Insights into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism- Rene Guenon
  4. Introduction to Sufism- Titus Burckhardt
  5. Mysticism- Evelyn Underhill
  6. Knowledge and the Sacred – Hossein Nasr
  7. The Need for a Sacred Science

The Primary Source

  1. Paths to Transcendence – According to Shankara, Ibn ‘Arabi, and Meister Eckhart by Reza Shah Kazemi.(World Wisdom Books)
  2. All sources mentioned in this book.

One response to “Syllabus of “Comparative Mysticism”

  1. I have read 180 books on mysticism and Professor Nasr was one on my 20 advisors. The primary bibliography which most helped me to write the e-book at http:/ is on pages 51-55.

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