See full size poster (2.5 MB)

Faculty Mentor

Maheen Zaman


In order to push back on both a superficial religious pluralism and the apocalyptical “clash of civilizations” narrative, this project interrogates the eschatological claims of Augustine of Hippo, an influential Christian saint, and Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, the great Muslim sage. Taking Plato’s Theory of Forms and the Greek Myth of Er as a shared conceptual foundation, effort was made both to appreciate the common philosophical heritage of the Christian and Islamic traditions and to explore the tensions among the ethical and metaphysical implications of Augustine and Ibn ‘Arabi’s eschatological thought. While the Myth of Er envisions a cycle of reincarnation following a limited “afterlife”, both Augustine and Ibn ‘Arabi follow a linear eschatological trend in which a finite life on earth precedes an eternity in the next world. Augustine shares Plato’s low opinion of flesh and the material world, but, for Augustine, humanity needs grace rather than philosophy in order to overcome evil. Ibn ‘Arabi, like Plato, foresees punishment for sin ending after an appropriate duration. However, Ibn ‘Arabi contradicts Plato by viewing the outward nature of man as more stable than the inward.

Publication Date



Islam, Augustine, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi


History of Religions of Western Origin | Islamic Studies

The Afterlife of Greek Thought in the Christian and Islamic Traditions