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  Fons Vitae



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-syncrestistic 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-syncrestistic 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. 

To see the Spiritual Affinities titles we're working on, click here.

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The Pillar of Prayer is the long-awaited translation of the Baal Shem Tov’s seminal collection of teachings on prayer in early Hasidism. Menachem Kallus’s felicitous translation and extensive notes and annotations make this important work available to a general audience for the first time.
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The Jews of Iraq is an accessible narrative of the long tenure of the Jewish community in Iraq, from the time of the Babylonian captivity beginning 731 B.C.E. through the exodus of 1951-52 C.E. after Israel was established." The book covers such events as the Assyrian and Babylonian destruction of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judea, and the deportation of the Jews to Babylon; in captivity, the growth of Jewish communities in Babylon, and the long period when Babylon was the center of Jewish life in exile.
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