In recent years there has been an explosion of curiosity and debate about Islam and about the role of religion, both in the world and in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The numerous books published on these questions speak to issues of politics, history, or global security. None speaks to the heart and the spirit, and yet millions of people experience these issues not as political, economic, or intellectual questions but as questions of deep spiritual, emotional, and religious significance.
Joan Chittister, OSB, is a best-selling writer and lecturer. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. Contributor Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz) has a website at www.abwoon.com, for the Abwoon Study Circle. This site focuses on his research, study and publication in the areas of Middle Eastern mysticism and peacemaking. "Abwoon" is an Aramaic word for the power of the Universe to give birth to new life every instant. His institutional website is the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org). Rabbi Arthur Waskow is the director of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia and author of numerous books, including "Seasons of Our Joy" and "Down-to-Earth Judaism."