The above image illustrates the deepest ideas about creation as taught by the kabbalist Yitzchak Luria (1534-1572).  A ray of ‘light’ emerges from the depiction of nothingness (Hebrew ayin) that connotes the transcendent essence of the divine. The ray penetrates through successive circles, each arising as an emanation of God. This image conveys what is central to the Sacred Wisdoms Archive: the challenge to know the deep nature of ourselves and our world. In the Kabbalah, the emanations are the focus for speculative inquiry; they are the archetypal principles that underlie the appearances, of world and mind.

All science quests to discern the patterns and forces that lie beyond what is immediately apparent. Such quests become sacred when undertaken in a spirit of reverence—a recognition that by aspiring to uncover the deep patterns and forces we are embarking on a journey of transformation, and following the inner imperative perpetuated through all the great traditions.

The Sacred Wisdoms Archive focuses on studies that emphasize the methodological approach, in terms of both discerning key ideas from a given tradition and recognizing the path of human growth to which they contribute. The archive provides online digital access to relevant articles, book chapters, dissertations, theses, and references.

Archive organized and created by Les Lancaster, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Liverpool John Moores University, UK; Co-Founding Director, The Alef Trust CIC, and Sacred Science Circle.

The organizer and creator of this archive has secured permission from authors to make their writings available as digital resources below. Related books and book chapters listed are available in libraries and at online and local bookstores. 



Note: Authors of articles that are not available through a web link are invited to contact the organizers of this archive via the Contact page to give permission to upload their articles.


Books and Book Chapters

  • Chittick, W. C. (1989). The Sufi path of knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s metaphysics of the imagination. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Corbin, H. (1969). The creative imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi. Transl. R, Manheim. Bollingen Series 91. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Fishbane, M. (Ed.). (1993). The Midrashic imagination: Jewish exegesis, thought, and history. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Fishbane, M. (Ed.). (1998). The exegetical imagination. Jewish thought and theology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Holdrege, B. A. (1996). Veda and Torah: Transcending the textuality of scripture. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Idel, M. (1989). Language, Torah, and hermeneutics in Abraham Abulafia. Translated by M. Kallus. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Idel, M. (2002). Absorbing perfections: Kabbalah and interpretation. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Katz, S. T. (Ed.) (1992). Mysticism and language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Katz, S. T. (Ed.) (2000). Mysticism and sacred scripture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kripal, J. J. (2014). Religion, nature, and science: The super natural. In J. J. Kripal, A. Anzali, A. R. Jain, and E. Prophe (eds.), Comparing religions: Coming to terms. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 143–174.
  • Lancaster, B. L. (2015). The quest for consciousness: integrating scientific and mystical ways of knowing. In A Blackie and J. H. Spencer (eds.), The beacon of mind: Reason and intuition in the ancient and modern world. Vancouver, BC: Param Media Publishing. [pdf]
  • Lopez, D. S. (Ed.) (1993). Buddhist hermeneutics (Studies in East Asian Buddhism No. 6). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Nasr, S. H. (1993). The need for a sacred science. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Wolfson, E. R. (1995). Along the path: Studies in Kabbalistic myth, symbolism, and hermeneutics. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Wolfson, E. R. (2002). Before Alef/where beginnings end. In A. Cohen and S. Magid (eds.) Beginning/Again: Towards a hermeneutics of jewish texts, pp. 135-161. New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2002.
  • Wolfson, E. R. (2005). Language, eros, being: Kabbalistic hermeneutics and poetic imagination. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press, 2005.

Dissertations and Theses

Note: Dissertation and theses will be added as they are available and permission is granted by authors.


This archive is a work in progress. The criteria for inclusion are that the focus is on methodological issues relating to one or more wisdom tradition and that the work conveys a reverence for the sacred as indicated in the description of the archive above.

Please contribute by suggesting works that should be included, and if the work is your own, please give permission for it to be made available through this archive. Use the contact page.