Between Religion and Alchemy

The scholar Ibn Arfa‘ Ra’s (d. 1197) as a model for an integrative Arabic literary and cultural history

The project investigates the life of the Moroccan scholar and alchemist Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs (fl. 12. century), his numerous works and their broad reception in the Arab-Islamic world. The study focuses on the question of how traditional religious scholarship in the Arab-Islamic world could be reconciled with a "secret science" such as alchemy. The starting point is Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs and his main work, a collection of alchemical poems entitled Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab ("The Gold Splinters"). The project reconstructs the life and work of Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs as well as its social and intellectual networks, examines the reception of its works and the influence of its doctrines. His main work, Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab, will be published for the first time in a critical edition and translated into German.

The Project in the Media

Financed by: