Hartford Seminary

Book Talk: The Sufi and the Friar with Dr. Minlib Dallh

Minlib Dallh

A graduate of Hartford Seminary’s International Ph.D. Program, Dr. Minlib Dallh will talk about his new book, The Sufi and the Friar.

Dr. Dallh is a Fellow in the Study of Love in Religion at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford. A summary of the book describes it as “an investigation of the spiritual encounter between a twentieth-century Dominican friar and an eleventh-century Afghani Sufi master.”

“This book explores the profound spiritual encounter between Serge de Beaurecueil (1917–2005), a twentieth-century French Dominican friar and Christian mystic, and the eleventh-century Ḥanbalī Sufi master Khwāja ‘Abdullāh Anṣārī of Herāt (1006–1089). De Beaurecueil lived much of his Christian discipleship in Cairo and Afghanistan, where he became the foremost expert on the life and thought of Anṣārī. His mystical conversation and scholarly engagement with Anṣārī, his experience of Islamic hospitality, and the transformation of his own practical spirituality or praxis mystica through his experience of dwelling in the abode of Islam provide us with not only a magnificent and luminous meditation on the hidden and abiding presence of God among Muslims but also a contemplation on the quandary of genuine engagement with and openness to the religious other.

Ian Richard Netton, author of Islam, Christianity and Tradition: A Comparative Exploration, said this about the book: “To place a French Dominican friar who died in 2005 and a Sufi who died in 1089 in juxtaposition in the same book is not the most obvious path in comparative religious scholarship. Yet Dallh has not only done precisely that, but he has also produced a brilliant monograph in the process which makes for a fascinating read. Dallh’s work exhibits painstaking scholarship which illuminates two notable figures in Christianity and Islam respectively and makes an original contribution to the study of these two great faith traditions.” —

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