Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One of the things I do love about London is the number of interesting people you can meet. Last night after our final lecture in the series on Morality we met up at the student bar. An Italian movie maker, a Cypriot artist, a South African Jesuit and a number of others including an astro-physicist interested in rocketry! The discussion of free will eventually led to the discussion of God and then a very interesting discussion between myself and the Jesuit, the first I have ever met. We were both very curious about the details of each others beliefs and I have to say I found more similarities than differences, though the differences were still considerable. The conversation was fruitful, informative and very interesting since we both did not approach with any stereotypes of the "other" but rather as two people comparing notes and observations. There were no taboos on the topics we discussed nor any need to dress up our beliefs as "moderate" to impress. One thing which struck me was how much I have come to rely on the things I have read in Ghazali and how strong a foundation it provided me for understanding the Islamic religion. We both delved briefly into Sufism, of which he was deeply intrigued by for it's similarities to Jesuit thought. On my part, the journey of discovery by Ignatius Loyola fascinated me and I'm keen to read more about him.

On another note, I've realised during that conversation that my own Islamic beliefs have become more humanist and universal, more forgiving and less harsh. I can't say that's a bad thing.

1 comment:

Damascene George said...

I think jesuites represents the most liberal, humane, open form of catholicim. I was always impressed by their iterpretation of the religious issues... But at the same time, I was always shocked by how far their ideas are from the general public (Christians I mean!).