Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Room E
This book is a study of the role mystical discourse and experience can play in Christian-Muslim dialogue as a subset of interfaith dialogue in general. It concentrates on the work of two great medieval mystic masters, one Muslim, the other Christian. The Muslim is the Sufi teacher known to centuries of admirers as al-shaykh al-akbar or "The Greatest Master"— Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi. The Christian is the great German Dominican mystic and philosophical theologian whose status as "master" has become a part of his name—Meister Eckhart. The book begins by discussing the life and legacy of each mystic master, and then move on to identify a principal theme in each of their teachings that has significant implications for addressing issues of religious diversity and interfaith dialogue. It will then proceed to its main objective: placing the mystical discourse of these two masters in conversation with one another for the purposes of articulating "conversation points" between the two discourses which might serve as "nodes" for a possible new matrix for Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Syafaatun Almirzanah is Professor of Religious Studies at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Indonesia. An activist in interfaith dialogue nationally and internationally, Almirzanah specializes in Sufism and comparative mysticism. She is currently a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Eastern Mennonite University.