Foreign Research to Austria and Hungary

by TAKESHITA Masataka

(July 5-16, 1997)

Research Theme:
Meeting about research with Austrian and Hungarian researchers, survey of materials


During this research trip, we mainly stayed in Hungary and conducted exchanges with researchers in the fields of Arabic and Islamic Studies. We explained the goals of this project and asked for cooperation. At that time, from July 7 to July 12, the 35th ICANAS (International Conference on Asian and North African Studies) was being held in Budapest, so we were able to participate. We presented a paper entitled “The General Theory of Ibn Arabi’s Wisdom of the Prophets” to the Islam meeting. This paper compares the general concepts in the first chapter of Jewels of Wisdom to the universal principles of Islamic philosophy and the theory of divine attributes in Islamic theology. We found that Ibn Arabi’s theory is closest to the Mu’tazira school of at Basra (Abu Hashim’s theory of states). Finally, it is also clear that Ibn Arabi’s universal theory is closely tied to his “theory of oneness”. See the announcement section of No. 73 of the Bulletin of the Institute of Eastern Cultures for other papers presented at this conference in the Arab and Islam meeting.

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This conference was sponsored by the Hungary Korosi Csoma Society (similar to the Institute of Eastern Cultures in Japan) and the University of Budapest (The Eotvos Lorand University) so almost all of the researchers in the fields of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Hungary participated. It was therefore an excellent opportunity to conduct exchanges with them. Some of the main researchers we were able to meet with were Edmond Schutz (Caucasian Studies, Hungarian Academy of Science), Robert Simon (Arabic and Islamic Studies, Hungarian Academy of Science) and Mikos Maroth (Arabic and Islamic Studies, Hungarian Academy of Science), Alexander Fodor (Arabic and Islamic Studies, The Eotvos Lorand University), Tamas Ivanyi (Arabic Linguistics, The Eotvos Lorand University), Vilmos Voigy (Ethnology, The Eotvos Lorand University), and Mihaly Hoppal (Ethnology, The Eotvos Lorand University). Also, many researchers in Arabic and Islamic Studies whom we have very little chance to have exchanges with, such as those from Italy, Austria, CIS and Eastern Europe participated in the conference, so we exchanged information about the current state of Islamic Studies in our countries. This year the Islamic Area Studies Project has invited many foreign researchers to Japan, however most of these researchers are from a few select countries. We believe that it would be best if from next year we more actively cooperated with countries we have not conducted very many exchanges with in the past such as Hungary and Eastern European countries. A Caucasian meeting was held during ICANAS and we were impressed by the interest that many researchers, especially those from Hungary and the CIS, had in Islam in Caucasia. Even in the field of Islamic Area Studies, there are very few Japanese researchers doing research in Caucasian Studies, so we are hoping for many exchanges with these researchers.

We stayed in Vienna for one day on the way home from Budapest and surveyed literary sources related to Islamic philosophy at the National Library there.