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Encouraging Muslims and Christians to Pray Together; A Benedictine Approach
ISBN: 978-0-8146-3822-4, 3822
Details: 352 pgs , 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 11/07/2013
Abbot Timothy Wright proposes sowing a small seed from which might grow a greater respect between the world's two largest religions, Christianity and Islam. Indeed, he believes that the seed has already been planted. Christians give unique value to their revealed Scriptures as the "Word of God." Muslims speak of the Qur'an as God speaking to them.
In No Peace without Prayer, Wright presents the case for developing this faith in the Word of God to establish groups of Christians and Muslims dedicated to sharing their respective "Divine Word" in ways that enhance the "other." This is not a tussle for converts but a way into greater mutual understanding-under the eye of the God who communicates this Word-to create a new shared memory. Such is a work of prayer, a prayer that could lead to greater peace. The key word, says Wright, is partnership, arising from their shared belief in the One God, creator of the universe, communicating with the human world and merciful to the repentant.
Abbot Timothy Wright, OSB, presently teaches at Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois, and is the delegate of the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation for Monastic-Muslim Relations. He served as abbot of Ampleforth Abbey from 1997 to 2005, during which time he and Mohammad Ali Shomali organized a series of dialogues between Catholic monks and theologians and Shi'a Muslims from Iran.
Recent popes have called upon Catholics to get to know, understand, and respect Islam. All this in order to be better Catholics and partners in the future. Abbot Timothy received a commission from the Abbot President of all Benedictines to bring together people who were already in dialogue and friendship. This book amplifies his journey and the providential spiritual and cultural baggage he brought with him. It is a fascinating trip.
The book is based on his doctoral thesis about a new way of transcending the apparent chasm between those seeking God by contrasting paths. He proposes a community founded for a dialogue of spiritualties-Muslim and Christian. He kindly breaks his proposal out into thirty-six chapters, with clear titles, and thus the reader can pick and choose between the practical steps and the deeper contemplative traditions in each tradition.
The challenges to a peaceful future in our world are obvious. Abbot Timothy has essayed an imaginative step forward, based on his own experience and extensive contacts with unobtrusive dialogue groups in both hemispheres.