On Human Nature in the Thought of Muhyiddin Ibn’ Arabi and the Western Tradition Within the Context of the Film The Silence of the Lambs

  • Author(s): Ridade Öztürk
  • When: 2016-01
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • This article will summarize views about ‘human nature’ proposed by leading philosophers of the Western Canon. These views will later be contrasted with the viewpoint of Muhyiddin Ibn’Arabi on ‘human nature’. The question of what it means to know the human rationally and scientifically, and the question of how much this way of knowing can penetrate the double-sided dark-and-light nature of the human as reflected in the serial killer Hannibal Lecter, is a central focus of the article. The article discusses the framework of Tasawwuf (Sufism) which views human nature as both created and divine, from the two perspectives of the zahir (outward) and the batin (inward), as a different form of knowledge than rational and scientific knowledge, in the context of the work of Muhyiddin Ibn’Arabi. In this study, the possibility of understanding ‘what’ and ‘who’ the human is, as visible through the character of Lecter, is explored in its philosophical and religious contexts, through being a participant of the film The Silence of the Lambs instead of just being its viewer.

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