Spiritual Affinities Board

Fons Vitae would like to draw attention to the profound spiritual affinities of Judaism and Islam by establishing new ground where these two faiths can stand together. We invite scholars from the world over to contribute to these efforts. We are opening a home at Fons Vitae where the two traditions can work together in the enduring world of the Spirit.

Fons Vitae is now dedicated to making scholarly work on the common spiritual and doctrinal themes in Judaism and Islam, with the express purpose of publishing works in this field of study. Such shared elements have been called, and coined, ‘elective affinities’ by Jewish studies scholar Paul Fenton, a term that many of our scholars have adopted. In the stated aims of one book for the project, author Rabbi Aubrey Glazer writes that “through this approach, a non-syncretistic exploration of a given mystical path is possible.

This comparative analysis allows for the mystic in each tradition to encounter the tradition of the other, and through this encounter catalyze a deeper immersion in [his] own tradition.” This non-syncretistic approach is in keeping with Fons Vitae’s mission, which began, precisely, with a series of books exploring Thomas Merton’s study of and inspiration by other faiths, for this deepening of his own faith was truly the fruit of his immersion in the study of other faiths, as well as his friendships with people of those faiths

Much is being done on the relationship between Christians and Muslims, as well as Christians and Jews, as well as the affinities between these traditions, both at the level of scholarship and action. We felt that the particular relationship between Judaism and Islam has been hitherto mostly neglected, and are responding to this need.

Spiritual Affinities Board Members
[Click on names for further information]

David Burrell
Frederick Colby
Rabbi Aubrey Glazer
Amenah Hoti
John Kiser
Edward Kessler
Tobias Mayer
Joseph Montville
Abdallah Schleifer
Elena Lloyd-Sidle, Project Director