Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East
World Wisdom Books, Inc.
Publication date: November 2004
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
You save: $1.96 (20%)
This book is a collection of essays concerning the mystical and contemplative dimensions of Eastern Christianity and Islam presented at the October 2001 conference on Hesychasm and Sufism at the University of South Carolina. Contributions from internationally recognized spiritual leaders and scholars include Bishop Kallistos Ware, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Huston Smith, James Cutsinger, William Chittick, John Chryssavgis, Gray Henry, Andrew Louth, and Reza Shah-Kazemi. Despite the long and well-known history of conflict between Christians and Muslims, their mystical traditions especially in the Christian East and in Sufism, have shared for centuries many of the same spiritual methods and goals. One thinks, for example, of the profound similarities between the practices of the Jesus Prayer among the Hesychast masters of the Philokalia and the Sufi practices of dhikr or invocation. These commonalities suggest the possibility for a deeper kind of religious dialogue than is customary in our day, a dialogue which seeks to foster what Frithjof Schuon has called inward or "esoteric" ecumenism, and which, while respecting the integrity of traditional dogmas and rites, "calls into play the wisdom which can discern the one sole Truth under the veil of different forms." The purpose of this book, the first major publication of its kind, is to promote precisely this more inward kind of ecumenical perspective. Contributors include some of the world's leading authorities on Christian and Muslim spirituality, including Bishop Kallistos Ware, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Huston Smith, James Cutsinger, Reverend John Chryssavgis, William Chittick and Reza Shah-Kazemi. Their essays point to a spiritual heart in which the deeper meaning of Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices come alive, and where spiritual pilgrims may discover, beyond the level of seemingly contradictory forms, an inner commonality with those who follow other paths.