On Mysticism and Ecumenism: Inroads in Jewish-Muslim Dialogue

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dc.contributor.advisor Sarna, Jonathan
dc.contributor.author Khaykin, Vlad Judah
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-23T19:53:23Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-23T19:53:23Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/24385
dc.description.abstract The history of Jewish-Muslim relations is one fraught with episodes of terrible enmity, conflict and bloodshed. Yet it is also a history marked by periods of peaceful coexistence, cultural exchange, cooperation, and profound mutual respect. This work is dedicated to multiplying the latter, and decreasing the former. To do so, it promotes what the author believes is an effect inroad to improved interreligious relations, namely, the mystical traditions that exist at the core of religion. Mysticism, man's pursuit of direct experience of the divine, has been with us from the beginning, arising from man's primordial yearnings, and giving rise to some of the earliest foundations of the Jewish religion. It is this yearning that unites all mankind. In the words of Edward Kaplan, "people of different faiths are joined…by their yearning for God's presence, their quest for certainty about God." Yet it is much more than a yearning. Jewish mysticism and Sufism, its Islamic counterpart, share a complex cosmology, teleology, and hermeneutics, a way of looking at the world, one that is ideally inclined toward ecumenism and what Kaplan calls a "sacred humanism," that fosters profound respect for the other. Moreover, this ecumenism is not rooted simply in sentimental tolerance or superficial exigencies, but rather is grounded in a divinely sanctioned pluralism, one that appreciates the other in their particularity while nonetheless recognizing the Oneness that unites all being. Moving from mystical doctrine, we find precedence for the efficacy of mysticism as a vehicle for ecumenism in the remarkable history of religious exchange in the esoteric domain. The figures who participated in dialogue and exchange were amongst the most respected and influential Jewish leaders of their time, including several generations of the progeny of Moses Maimonides. The fruits of this exchange have had tremendous impact on Judaism as we know it.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Vlad Judah Khaykin 2011
dc.subject Islam
dc.subject Mysticism
dc.subject kabbalah
dc.subject ecumenism
dc.subject Judaism
dc.subject Sufism
dc.subject interfaith
dc.title On Mysticism and Ecumenism: Inroads in Jewish-Muslim Dialogue
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Professional Leadership
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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