The rich mystical tradition of the Near and Middle East is the fascinating subject of this wide-ranging study by Dr Margaret Smith, a renowned writer in this field. Her book explores the relationship between the rise and development of a mystical element in Islam – which we know as Sufism – and the mysticism that was already to be found within the Christian Church of the Near and Middle East, at the time when Arab power was establishing itself and the faith of Islam was in the process of development and formulation.In this earliest period of Islamic mysticism, the contacts between Christianity and Islam were at their closest. Here Dr Smith presents the mystics’ teachings and allows their own writings to speak for them, offering an illuminating comparison between the early mystical doctrines of two great religious traditions, and celebrating their shared devotion and inspiration.
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