Scholarly Dialogue Discusses Sufi Tradition

October 4th, 2002 by Adam

Dr. Leonard Lewin, professor emeritus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, will be the guest speaker at the Plymouth State College Society for Scholarly Dialogue Tuesday, October 15.

Dr. Lewin will offer a contemporary presentation of Sufi ideas in the West. He has worked with the Sufi tradition for more than 35 years, writing some 200 technical papers and 12 books. One of these, “The Diffusion of Sufi Ideas in the West,” won an award as the most original and pioneering work on Sufi studies from the International Book year organized by UNESCO in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1972.

He writes, “Webster’s dictionary defines a Sufi as a ‘Muslim mystic.’ No doubt many Sufis, particularly in t he Middle East, do follow the Islamic faith. But there are many others who follow the Hindu religion, or Judaism, or Christianity, or no particular belief system at all.”

Sufism, according to Lewin, is a body of spiritual knowledge which has been developed and brought to fruition largely in the past 1,000 years. It deals with the spiritual aspect of the universe. In particular, Sufism is concerned with the nourishment and conscious evolution of the innermost being or essence, of the human individual.

Lewin will present the nature of current Sufi ideas in the West through Sufi teaching stories, personal anecdotes and other descriptive materials.

The evening program at the Frost Academic Commons off School Street in Plymouth begins with a social half-hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation at 7:15 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $7.75 per person and are available through October 10.

Contact Jennifer Collins, 535-2811 or for tickets and information. There is no charge for the presentation alone.