Spiritual Grammar

9780823275724: Hardback
Release Date: 3rd July 2017

9780823283699: Paperback
Release Date: 4th June 2019

9780823276738: EPUB
Release Date: 11th July 2017

9780823276745: PDF
Release Date: 11th July 2017

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 256

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Comparative Theology: Thinking Across Traditions

Fordham University Press

Spiritual Grammar

Genre and the Saintly Subject in Islam and Christianity

Literary analysis and theological interpretation of Catholic, University of Paris chancellor Jean Gerson’s (d. 1429) Donatus moralizatus and Muslim, Sufi scholar ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī’s (d. 1072) Naḥw al-qulūb. Argues that the genre of these two religious texts aims to engender saintly readers and uses grammar as metaphor for spiritual realities.
Hardback / £73.00
Paperback / £19.99
EPUB / £46.00
PDF / £46.00

Spiritual Grammar identifies a genre of religious literature that until now has not been recognized as such. In this surprising and theoretically nuanced study, F. Dominic Longo reveals how grammatical structures of language addressed in two medieval texts published nearly four centuries apart, from distinct religious traditions, offer a metaphor for how the self is embedded in spiritual reality. Reading The Grammar of Hearts (Nahw al-qulūb) by the great Sufi shaykh and Islamic scholar ‘Abd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī (d. 1074) and Moralized Grammar (Donatus moralizatus) by Christian theologian Jean Gerson (d. 1429), Longo reveals how both authors use the rules of language and syntax to advance their pastoral goals. Indeed, grammar provides the two masters with a fresh way of explaining spiritual reality to their pupils and to discipline the souls of their readers in the hopes that their writings would make others adept in the grammar of the heart.

List of Abbreviations | xi

Preface | xiii

Introduction. Genre Trouble: Queering Grammar for Spiritual Purposes | 1

1 Arabic, Latin, and the Discipline of Grammar in the Worlds of Qushayrī and Gerson | 27

2 Genres and Genders of Gerson | 53

3 Gerson’s “Moralized” Primer of Spiritual Grammar | 81

4 From the Names of God to the Grammar of Hearts | 117

5 Forming Spiritual Fuṣaḥāʾ: Qushayrī’s Advanced Grammar of Hearts | 150

6 The Fruits of Comparison: Constructing a Theology of Grammar | 186

Appendix. Translation of Jean Gerson’s Moralized Grammar | 217

Notes | 233

Index | 269

F. Dominic Longo holds a Ph.D. in Arabic & Islamic Studies from Harvard University, and a M.A. in Theology from Boston College. His research focuses on queer comparative Christian-Islamic theology. Alongside his scholarly activities, Dr. Longo works in the field of leadership development, with a focus on promoting human flourishing in all its forms.

Longo engages in an intriguing comparative inquiry into spiritual grammar in medieval Arabic and Latin treatises.Delineating and crossing boundaries and genres, he explores a new confusing yet delightful subfield in the genre of comparative theological Islamo-Christian studies.

—Pim Valkenberg
The Catholic University of America

Dominic Longo helps us to understand Islam and Christianity in deeper ways through the genre of 'spiritual grammar'. This is an extraordinary book that will benefit scholars of Islam, Christianity, and Comparative Theology.

—Amir Hussain
Loyola Marymount University