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Below are excerpts from three of the plenary sessions from the 2007 Esoteric Quest.

Fruits of Al-Andalus: Troubadours, Kabbalists and Cathars
Christopher Bamford


Influences and esoteric streams of all kinds flowed from Mozarabic Spain through the South of France during the centuries leading up to what has been called “the 12th-century Renaissance.” We shall focus on the initiatory Sophianic path of love practiced by the Troubadours who arose in the context of a vibrant, evolutionarily significant spiritual vortex that also produced the Zohar and the little-known, maligned, misunderstood, and much persecuted Cathar religion. Doing so, we shall discover a profound cross-pollination between Sufism, mystical Judaism and esoteric Christianity, in which we can find the growing tip of a truly future-oriented ecumenical spirituality.

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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins



Beacon of Light:
Ibn ‘Arabi and the Sufi Tradition of Al-Andalus
Stephen Hirtenstein, M.A.


In 1190, at the age of 25, Ibn ‘Arabi had his sublime vision in the Great Mosque in Cordoba, in which he met all the prophets and saints, from Adam to Muhammad. This event not only presaged his own crucial role within the Islamic spiritual tradition, but also integrated the esoteric teachings that had preceded him. One of the most remarkable figures of world spirituality, Ibn ‘Arabi penned writings which left an indelible mark on following centuries, becoming a beacon of light, tolerance and compassion. This talk will focus on his life and writings, including his famous meeting with Averroes, and explore the milieu of remarkable men and women he described.

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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins



Sufis and Kabbalists in Andalusia
Paul Fenton, Ph.D.
Medieval Spain has been a rich terrain for mystics of the three monotheistic faiths. For over a century, historians of religion have speculated on the possible connections between the spiritual masters of different traditions.  Paul Fenton proposes to demonstrate in the light of literary works, such as the Jewish Sufi Bahya Ibn Paquda's Duties of the Hearts, but also in light  of personal testimonies, like that of the great Muslim mystic Ibn Arabi's Meccan Revelations, that inter-confessional contacts did indeed take place. He traces some of these works through Muslim and Christian Spain and even North Africa, bringing out some of the mystical themes they hold in common.


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File size: 10 mgs/ Running time: approx. 20 mins

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