The third conference jointly sponsored by the International Institute for Islamic Studies and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue brought together Iranian Shi’a Muslims and Christian monastics in Assisi, Italy in October 2014. The chapters within this book explore the meaning of community in these two traditions and what is involved in the forming, belonging to, and acting as a community.
“At a time when the news is full of atrocities – such as violence against Christians and bombings of Shi’a mosques – it is heartening to read the account of the third meeting of (Catholic) monks and (Shi’a) Muslims, a meeting marked by real friendship and openness. Reflecting on the formation of community, where shared hospitality leads to a sharing of spiritual riches, the participants turn their gaze not inwards, but outwards, to the service of others, indeed for the benefit of the whole human family. A short book, containing much information and providing great stimulation.” Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, M.Afr.
“Walking shoulder to shoulder , these Christians and Muslims – Catholic monks and Shi’a – witness the knowledge of, and trust in each other are the basis for unity in diversity and enable us to work together to build a better and more peaceful world. From this little book, we learn that forming a community of believers does not mean erecting dividing walls, but rather building bridges of communication and widening our horizons. God knows how much we need these bridges in our troubled world!” Prof. Valentino Cottini
Rector, Pontificial Institute for Arabic & Islamic Studies
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 Engagement: Reason & Faith in Theory and Practice, and A Catholic-Shi’a Dialogue: Ethics in Today’s Society.
William Skudlarek, OSB, is a monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and Secretary General of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. His books include The Attentive Voice: Reflections on the Meaning and Practice of Interreligious Dialogue (ed.) and Demythologising Celibacy: Practical Wisdom from Christian and Buddhist Monasticism.