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Amulets and Talismans in the Earliest Works of the Corpus Bunianum

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Abstract

The thirteenth-century Sufi shaykh al-Būnī is the putative author of an important corpus dealing with occult sciences in the Islamicate world, known in Western scholarship as the corpus bunianum. The best-known of these magical texts attributed to him is The Great Sun of Knowledge (Shams al-maʿārif al-kubrā), and another of the more famous works in this corpus is the Source of the Foundations of Wisdom (Manbaʿuṣūl al-ḥikma), a compilation of four epistles. It has now become clear, however, that the works that al-Būnī actually authored have more to do in nature with Sufi theory and practice rather than strictly magical purposes. His limited corpus nevertheless became the basis of an important magical tradition especially through the extensive commentaries by later esoterists. While al-Būnī's earliest books were seminal in feeding the later magical tradition, the information they contain about amulets and talismans per se, is in fact limited. In this paper, I will analyse the vocabulary, processes and figures related to amulets and talismans in the ancient core of the corpus bunianum.
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halshs-03663871 , version 1 (10-05-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - CC BY 4.0

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Jean-Charles Coulon. Amulets and Talismans in the Earliest Works of the Corpus Bunianum. Marcela A. Garcia Probert; Petra M. Sijpesteijn. Amulets and Talismans of the Middle East and North Africa in Context, Brill, pp.230-252, 2022, ⟨10.1163/9789004471481_011⟩. ⟨halshs-03663871⟩
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