Men in Black Dresses: A Quest for the Future Among Wisdom-Makers of the Middle East

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 17, 2008 - Religion - 304 pages
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If we pause long enough, we can hear, above the din of our planet's rapid globalization and technological advancement, the quiet voices of spiritual leaders from ancient faiths. Middle East historian Yvonne Seng asks, What can these modern Desert Fathers with their long history of survival advise us on the future of our planet? Her intellectual quest rapidly becomes a personal journey that turns her Western training and perceptions on their head.
Men In Black Dresses takes the reader behind the walls of desert monasteries, Sufi enclaves, ancient cathedrals and mosques -- where the author knocks, uninvited, and waits for the wise men to allow her in. Once inside, they discuss the universal concerns of the environment and the Internet, the building of a global community, and the education of coming generations, as well as the state of the human spirit.
 

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Men in black dresses: a quest for the future among wisdom-makers of the Middle East

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Seng embarks on an ambitious journey, especially for a Western woman-interviewing some of the most venerable and respected leaders in the Middle East to find out exactly "where the hell they think ... Read full review

Contents

The Nile Train
3
Naked in Cairo
14
Sufi Shrink
22
Gods Gatekeepers
30
We the Petitioners
43
The Grand Sheikh
51
Fire Bird
64
Back to the Womb
71
The Carpenter
157
Keeper of The Word
172
Sister Salma Channels Jesus
187
Time Traveler
201
Talking in Circles
210
Them There Eyes
229
Climbing Mount Moses
240
Desert in the Heart
250

Another Plane
78
Sex and the CyberCopt
98
Syria
115
Damascus Gate
117
Syrian Fire Bird
126
Dr Khayyam
137
Enclave
143
Letter from the Future
263
Turkey
275
Postscript on a Postcard
277
Acknowledgments
279
Index
281
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About the author (2008)

Yvonne Seng, Ph.D., is a cultural historian specializing in the Middle East and Turkey. Based in Washington, D.C., she has taught courses on peace studies at American University's Center for Global Peace, and on religion, history and Islamic culture at Georgetown and Princeton Universities and Wesley Theological Seminary. In 2000, she was a speaker at the State of the World Forum's special session on faith and technology. Born in Australia, she has worked and traveled widely in the Middle East.

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