About and aims

“It is The Real who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible.”
- Ibn Arabi, The Meccan Openings

The inspirational name of this Interreligious Research Initiative, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the most influential mystics and Muslim sages the world has ever seen. He is known to have penned more than 300 works, and his followers have played a major role in shaping the intellectual and social history in every corner of the world. The inclusivist ideas underlying his teachings are of immediate relevance today. On the other hand, most of his works remain in manuscript in archives around the world, waiting to be edited and studied in order to inform our responses to the challenges that the modern world is encountering, ranging from environmentalism to social and global justice. While he has been commonly known as the “greatest master” in the later tradition, his multi-faceted heritage and the potential contributions of his teachings to the modern world are waiting to be better understood.

Founded in 1977 aiming to promote a greater understanding of the work of Ibn Arabi and his followers, The Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (MIAS) is an international association with its headquarters in Oxford, England. A chapter of the Society in Melbourne, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society Australia Pacific (MIASAP) was established in 2019. Supported by the generous community of the Australia Pacific chapter of the MIAS, Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative promotes the study of interreligious spirituality, with a focus on a better understanding of the vast heritage of Ibn Arabi, and the constructive interpretations global spiritual traditions in response to contemporary problems of the world.

The IAI aims to:

  • facilitate informed discussion between communities, universities, policy-makers, businesses, religious leaders, the media and the public on issues of tolerance, social cohesion and economic prosperity through dynamic interfaith relations;
  • produce world-class research and engaging public education, fostering a greater understanding of multiculturalism and interfaith opportunities;
  • educate and develop a new generation of community and scholars versed in mutual understanding and driven by an inclusivist ethos, and a desire for collaboration;
  • deliver solutions-based outcomes on matters of regional and global cooperation which will contribute to a more harmonious world.
  • build on Monash’s reputation as a global leader in research, teaching and public engagement about interreligious dialogue, mysticism, and social engagement.