I’ve just returned from our pilgrimage, the WCCM pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Although calling it the Holy Land at this moment makes one question the meaning of it. It was a very painful and profound experience to be there, so close to the outbreak of violence and on the Shabbat and to speak to members of both sides in that area of the world and to see how tragic is the way in which the cycle of violence keeps on repeating itself.
And I’m very happy that Dennis and Jane McAuliffe will be giving their views on this question of metanoia at the next talk in the series – Contemplation and a Culture of Encounter on 21st November. They’re old friends of mine going back many years.
Jane has a lifelong study acquaintance, expertise in Islam and particularly in the Qur’an. And Dennis has a deep insight into the mystical significance of Dante in the divine comedy. Both of them will bring a very healing and profound coordinate understanding of how we can break these patterns of hostility, exclusion and, of course, violence. They’ll be bringing deep insights from both of these sources of wisdom. And I think their own experience on the contemplative path united with their knowledge of these sources of wisdom that they have studied all their lives will be immensely enriching. So I’m going to be watching it with great interest and hope to enjoy it there with you.