Last year we took a powerful and revelatory journey with Rabbi Jonathan and Rev. Matthew Wright in the course, “Judaism and Christianity: Shared Origins, Different Paths.” This year we are thrilled to expand our inquiry and incorporate Islam into our shared study. We are fortunate to be joined by two Islamic Sufi scholars and practitioners, Karuna Foudriat and Juliet Rabia Gentile.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all occupy the “Tent of Abraham” – that is, we all trace our spiritual lineage back to Abraham. In this course, we will ask each other all of our questions, even the ones we have been afraid to ask. We will learn about our profound similarities and our important differences. We will explore our history, beliefs and practices with intellectual honesty and accuracy. Equally important, we will share how are traditions move us spiritually, how and why we practice them, and what they have to teach us on the spiritual path.
In merging the intellectual and the experiential, we will both learn an immense amount and open doorways that lead to the common ground of our humanness.
During these times of enmity and mistrust, it is immeasurably important for us to sit in Abraham’s Tent together, and meet each other deeply. It will be good for our own souls, and also good for our world. Join us! Download Class Information
Karuna Foudriat is an ordained interfaith minister, meditation teacher, and dance leader of the Sufi Ruhaniat International and has been a practicing Muslim since 2007. She received a Master’s of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry, a Unitarian Universalist seminary where she focused her studies on the ecological teachings of the Qur’an. Her passion for the intersection between spirituality and caring for the earth is reflected in her work in the Transition Town movement. She is one of the organizers of the Long Spoon Collective, an intergenerational group creating gardens, a food sharing network, tiny homes, and a gift economy in the Woodstock/ Saugerties/ Palenville region. She also participates in the Ecospirituality Group, a circle of religious leaders from diverse faith backgrounds supporting the inner transition necessary for a more sustainable future. An experienced chaplain, Karuna has been involved in local home funeral and green burial initiatives. She has taught for over 30 years of in public and Waldorf schools and shares a homestead and permaculture garden in Saugerties with her husband Larry, a flock of chickens, and some beehives.
The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider interspiritual framework. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and as a teacher for Northeast Wisdom. Matthew lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.
Juliet Rabia Gentile holds a Master’s Degree in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Anthropology from New School University. Juliet is a spiritual representative of her teacher, Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order. She served as a Founding member and spiritual minister of Faith House Manhattan, an interfaith center in Manhattan (2008-2011) and has lectured widely on Sufism throughout New York City at venues including: the U.N. General Assembly, Riverside Church, Barnard College, Cathedral St. John the Divine, New York Open Center, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Union Theological Seminary, Auburn Seminary, One Spirit Learning Alliance, The Theater for the New City, St. Marks Church and City Winery.
She recently completed a narrative nonfiction book on Sufism in Turkey, India and North America and her work on Sufism has appeared in many anthologies and scholarly works. She is the founder of the Murshida Council, an organization devoted to developing the voices and preserving the legacy of Sufi women. She is also a singer and percussionist performing regularly in several ensembles including American Sufi Project, I Guillari di Piazza, Saqi Ensemble and Brooklyn Raga Massive.