This issue investigates the ways in which the Sufi repertoire of heuristic categories of intellectual and spiritual maturation (e.g. batin, spiritual growth, intuitional knowledge and inner awareness) may converge, intersect, and also diverge from modern epistemologies of the inner self. In doing so, the contributions touch upon two questions in particular. On the one hand, they discuss the relation between selfhood and the transcendent, describing not only how the self is built but also how it is somehow unbuilt in the relationship with the divine: rather than defined through its ‘inner’ boundaries, the self is seen as emerging continuously on the background of a wider horizon of existence, that is, the transcendent dimension of life. On the other hand, the authors highlight the overlaps between notions belonging to the Islamic tradition and modern discourses on interiority, tracing out the specific social and micro-political issues that lie behind this entanglement through key experiential notions such as dhawq, love, imagination, dreams and visions. In such a way, the papers tell about the strive of translating transcendence into new forms of sociality which may subvert, substitute or be alternative to institutionalised, established mundane and also religious forms of interaction and inter-subjectivity.
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