Thomas Merton, one of the great mystics of the 20th century, had a deep interest in Islam and its mystical tradition of Sufism. Now, you can join one of Catholicism's great scholars on a fascinating journey through Merton's encounter with Islam.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk whose numerous books made the Christian spiritual classics accessible to modern audiences. A pioneer in interreligious dialogue, he developed a profound interest in the mystical traditions of the world's major religions. In addition to his multiple relationships with non-Catholic Christians, he engaged in correspondence with Jewish, Muslim, Zen Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu thinkers.
Mystics, Muslims, and Merton focuses on Merton's engagement with Islam. Your presenter is Prof. Sidney Griffith PhD, an expert in Muslim-Christian relations and a lifelong reader of Thomas Merton. Throughout the course, you will journey through the broad spectrum of Merton's encounters with Muslims.
You will look at Thomas Merton's interest in Islamic mysticism, particularly in the traditions of Sufism. You will start by looking at his openness to "sharing the experience of the Divine light" with members of other religions. Then, as you explore Merton's correspondence with scholars of Sufism and practicing Sufis, you will gain great insight into the spiritual mind of Thomas Merton.
Thomas Merton was a remarkable spiritual thinker, and his interactions with Muslims provide a model of interfaith dialogue today. If you are interested in Merton's ideas, you will love this course.