Shalom Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity Paperback – 1 May 2011
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About the Author
Thomas Block is a writer, artist, and theoretician. He has contributed to the "International Journal of the Arts in Society" and the "Mid-Atlantic Almanack." His artwork is in collections at the Irish Center for Human Rights and the Contemporary Art Museum of Montecatini in Italy.
Top customer reviews
Just another addition. I was not aware that amongst Muslims there is a large body of opinion that thinks it was Ishmael who was offered up for sacrifice by Abraham as mentioned in this book, Apparently there is not total agreement on this. Ibn al Arabi definitely has Isaac as the sacrificee (made up word) in the Fusus al Hikam.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Much of the shared influence comes through Sufi mystics within Islam and this connects Block's story with the enduringly popular Sufi poet Rumi. Before Block is finished, there's a Who's Who of famous historical characters between these covers--as well as many largely unknown but influential religious figures you'll meet for the first time.
Think of this as a real-life Dan Brown story, connecting the dots of religious influence down through the centuries. Of course, because this book is a substantial, carefully researched historical overview, it's not exactly a Dan Brown page-turner. In the near future, Tom Block plans to expand his narrative into a second book in a more popular format. He is working, next, on a novel that will cover much of this same material. So, keep an eye on this author. For now, order and read this milestone in historical research.
Small groups that enjoy discussing cross-cultural issues, world religions and history will enjoy "Shalom/Salaam." The book is challenging in the conclusions it draws, which should spark lively discussion and further reading.
In the end, I agree with Block's analysis. These centuries of mystical connections, as Block points out, help to break down tragic stereotypes depicting the two faiths as eternal antagonists. When he began his research for "Shalom/Salaam," Block writes, "I thought the association between Muslims and Jews involved nearly 1400 years of enmity, and a present-day battle over a piece of land in the Middle East, which both People claim." Instead, he found, the two faith traditions owe a great deal to a "mystical fraternity" that thrived for centuries.
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