A common assumption among non-academic and scholarly circles alike is that mystics across religions often share a universal outlook and a relatively liberal attitude towards the “other”, be he/she a coreligionist or an adherent of another faith. Under the impact, inter alia, of New Age culture, this assumption has led many to perceive the representatives of mystical traditions as potential key players in interfaith dialogues. Is this really so? Are mystical traditions truly universal, truly accepting of the “other”, and, accordingly, are they the right candidates, so to speak, for a sincere interfaith dialogue? This lecture will focus on the mystical traditions of Islam and Judaism, in an attempt to shed some light on this complex and sensitive issue.
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