If Christians and Muslims are to live in peace, encouraging one another to grow in holiness and working together for the good of all God's creation, they must move beyond politicized and often negative images of one another. Monastic/Muslim dialogue-issuing from friendship and focused on revelation, prayer, and witness-is an important component in this effort. Indeed, it is essential.
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue is a commission of the Benedictine Confederation that promotes and coordinates dialogue between Catholic monastic men and women and spiritual practitioners of other religious traditions. The organization invited Iranian Shi'a Muslims and Christian monastics to share their faith in a revealing God, their understanding and practice of prayer, and their desire to be witnesses to the world of divine mercy and justice. This book invites readers to listen in and learn from their conversation.
Two special features of this volume make it particularly useful: it presents the Shi'ite perspective with which even those who know Islam well are less familiar; it deals with spiritual topics, like meditation and prayer, which are often neglected. In this book, we find monks and Muslims learning from one another and sharing what they have discovered, thus encouraging all of us on the way of dialogue.
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt and Delegate to the League of Arab States
Share this book with a friend. Witness how serious Muslims and monks share face to face, each from their own tradition. We treasure each other’s Way to God.
Sister Mary Margaret Funk
Our Lady of Grace Monastery Beech Grove, Indiana
Monks and Muslims brings together presentations made at the fourth in a series of encounters between Roman Catholic Benedictines and Iranian Shi‘a Muslims, a process which began in Ampleforth Abbey in 2003, and which has also involved encounters in the seminaries of Qum, Iran. Given this background, it is inevitable that the volume will have a certain specificity to it which means that other perspectives are not included. For example, there are no voices from monastics outside the Roman Catholic Church (including Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox), or from the new monastic movements; nor are there any Sunni contributions – in particular, the experience of the Sufi orders is not represented here. However, this limitation should not be seen as a deficiency in the volume but rather as a helpful focus, which in turn points to the potential for wider interactions.
Ipgrave, Michael. Review of Monks and Muslims: Monastic and Shi‘a Spirituality in Dialogue
edited by Mohammad Ali Shomali and William Skudlarek. Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies
, vol. 6 no. 4, 2013, p. 481-485. Project MUSE
About the Author
Mohammad Ali Shomali is the author of several books, including Ethical Relativism: An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality, Discovering Shi'a Islam, and Shi'a Islam: Origins, Faith & Practices. He is also coeditor of Catholics & Shi'a in Dialogue: Studies in Theology & Spirituality, Catholic-Shi'a Engagement: Reason & Faith in Theory and Practice, and A Catholic-Shi'a Dialogue: Ethics in Today's Society.