Orientations

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  • Author: JAMES WINSTON MORRIS

Beneath today's violent media stereotypes of an apocalyptic 'clash of civilisations' could we be witnessing instead the epochal and challenging birth of new spiritual, ethical and cultural forms of
communion, of a nascent global civilisation that has not yet found its name?

Orientations begins with those intimately familiar situations of disorientation, painful conflict and confusion-almost
inescapable in the contemporary world-whose most dramatic expressions
are daily so visible in emblematic images from each Jerusalem or Sarajevo. But it introduces three classical Islamic thinkers-both philosophers and spiritual teachers-whose seminal works together provide the inspiration for positive, realistic, concrete and lastingly constructive responses to those dramatic challenges, at each level of our own lives and responsibilities.

The purpose of this
study, through the far-reaching insights and guidance of these three
masters, is to turn our attention toward those universal elements of Islamic thought and spirituality which are explicitly grounded in the
deepest common dimensions of human experience: dimensions that
can alone provide us with the indispensable foundations for true communication, for genuine moral and spiritual communities rooted at every level-from family to workplace and beyond-in our shared responsibilities of spiritual insight, clarity, creativity and the uniquely human processes of realisation and transformation.

The focus of Orientations is on those recurrent human tasks and challenges which these three thinkers and their traditions can help illuminate, even today.


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