The Contributions of the Gülen Movement
Edited By Ori Z. Soltes and Margaret A. Johnson
Chapter 7: Universalism in the Thought of Rumi, Kabir, Abulafia, Luria, and Merton; and the Implications for the Gülen Movement, Violence and Peace Ori Z. Soltes 115
• C H A P T E R S E V E N • Universalism in the Thought of Rumi, Kabir, Abulafia, Luria, and Merton; and the Implications for the Gülen Movement, Violence and Peace Ori Z. Soltes ysticism within the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—is built on paradox. Mystics believe that there is a deeper, more hidden recess within Divinity—the mysterion1—than that which is the focus of non-mystical religion, and that, by a given methodology, one can access that innermost, deepest recess. Yet, the basic understanding of God within the Abrahamic traditions is that of an endless, all-encompassing Being without contours in time and space that would permit a concept of inner or outer, or deeper or shallower—at least not as we use these terms in the everyday sense. We might expect and find certain parallels and overlaps among the Abrahamic mystical traditions as we do among their general traditions, consonant with the common roots of all three expressions of faith. We might also expect and find divergences reflecting the historical and conceptual fact that the three are not identical to each other in important ways2—in both their general and their mystical traditions. One might suppose that no Jewish mystic could possibly think in universalistic terms, given the Jewish mystical sense of the impossibility of accessing God’s hiddenness without the instrumentation of the Torah—and without the agency of Hebrew, the original language of the Torah, and the M • ORI Z. SOLTES • 116 ability...
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