Podcasts of Talks and Lectures
[Note: to listen to a podcast, click the player. To download a copy to your computer, right-click on the blue link under the player: “Right-click to download the podcast here”]
Engaged Sufism: What does it mean to be a Sufi in the 21st century?
Audio of a webinar on 25 January 2020 with Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri (South Africa), Issa Baba (Turkey) and Shaykh Saadi (Neil Douglas-Klotz, Scotland). Organized by the Beyond Initiative of the Dances of Universal Peace. Interviewers: Arjun Calero (Columbia) and Aziz Dixon (England). More than 500 people registered for the live event. Audio: 1.5 hours.
The Spiritual, Social and Political Vision in his Life and Writings
Speaker: Neil Douglas-Klotz. Panellists: The Rev’d Ken Webb and Nancy Van Kirk. Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland. Date: Friday 25 October 2019. Sponsored by the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace www.eicsp.org
Event Description: While best known for his book The Prophet, Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran’s deepest spiritual work has often been ignored in favor of mining (and mangling) his writings for trite sayings that show up in greeting cards and motivational wall plaques. This evening is part of an effort to reclaim Gibran as a native Middle Eastern writer whose work attempted to bridge the diverse culture of early20th century modernity with that of rural Syria and Lebanon. As a migrant and refugee, Gibran also wrote vigorous political critiques of European betrayal of the post-World War I Middle East as well as helped found the first Arabic writer’s guild in the United States. The talk shares selections from throughout Gibran’s work. One could easily argue that what the average reader of his time found exotic in Gibran was the way he clearly expressed a region that most regarded as a conundrum. A hundred years later, understanding this conundrum has moved beyond being an exotic pastime to becoming a matter of survival. 94 minutes.
Genesis Now: a 15-minute excerpt about The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace
from an interview with Neil Douglas-Klotz by Dr. Matthew Fox on August 14, 2003 broadcast on the “Spirit in Action” radio show on KEST 1450 AM San Francisco.
“Spiritual Illumination in Islam” (Jonah in the Whale):
A talk given on March 8, 2014 at the annual conference of the Academy of Self Knowledge in Centurion, South Africa. The theme of the conference was “Spiritual Illumination in the World’s Spiritual Traditions.” The talk centers around the story of Jonah’s ‘endarkenment’ in the whale and how this might be seen as a metaphor for daily life in the 21st century. (31 minutes).
“Asking Life’s Big Questions: Voices of Desert Wisdom”
A talk given on March 11, 2012 at the annual conference of the Academy of Self Knowledge in Centurion, South Africa. The theme that year was “Celebrating Life through Sacred Expression.” The One Being is constantly expressing itself through the prophets and wise ones of all times, as they seek to answer the question: “What is the greatest expectation asked of us in life?” The talk, shared with a largely Sufi Muslim audience, features some poetic renderings of native voices of the Middle East from original Semitic languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, ancient Egyptian and Arabic. (40 minutes)
The Aramaic Jesus: Sounds True Interview
In a wide-ranging interview on February 21, 2012, Neil Douglas-Klotz and Sounds True founder Tami Simon talk about the background to Neil’s new program, “I Am: The Last Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus.” Neil talks about Aramaic Christianity, the Aramaic language, midrashic (multi-leveled) translation and interpretation, the Aramaic Bible, the Biblical studies views of the ‘Historical Jesus,’ the Aramaic prayer, John’s and Thomas’s stories of Jesus, and much more. This is an excellent introduction to all facets of Neil’s research and translation work concerning the Aramaic Jesus over the past 30 years. (60 minutes)
“The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer: Issues in Meaning, Practice and Experience Among the Abrahamic Traditions”
A talk given on 5 March 2011 at the Academy of Self-Knowledge (ASK), Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa for its conference on “Original Meaning of Sacred Messages.” The Academy of Self-Knowledge was founded by Shaikh Fadhlalla Haeri and most of the audience were Muslims. In addition to being a good introduction to “seeing Jesus with Aramaic eyes,” this talk mentions correspondences between Aramaic words in the Jesus’ prayer and some of the
“99 Beautiful Names of Allah.” 48 minutes, mp3.
“The Journey of Human Soul according to Hazrat Inayat Khan”
On July 5, 2010, the birthday of the Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan, I was asked to give an introductory talk and chair a panel on the topic above. The gathering was held at Murad Hassil, the universal temple of the Sufi Movement International at Katwijk, Netherlands. This was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his coming to the West. Representatives of the Sufi Ruhaniat, Sufi Order International, Sufi Movement, Sufi Way and Sufi Contact all participated. This podcast is my introductory talk, about 27 minutes long.
Cosmology and Ecology: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
An informal conversation with Bruce Chilton, Neil Douglas-Klotz, Jim Garrison and Mark Hathaway at Wisdom University’s 5-day colloquium near Toronto, Canada, on May 6, 2010.
This conversation was part of an informal evening with students at Wisdom University’s 5-day class series near Toronto (see www.wisdomuniversity.org). The first 30 minutes includes contributions (in order) from Bruce Chilton (author of Rabbi Jesus and many other books), Neil Douglas-Klotz, Wisdom University President Jim Garrison and Mark Hathway, co-author (with Leonardo Boff) of The Tao of Liberation.
Mystical Poetry and the Middle Eastern Mind:
Experiments in Multi-leveled Poetic Translation
A Short Course
In 1990, Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz pioneered a poetic approach to interpreting and understanding the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels from his native Aramaic language. Drawing upon the centuries-old Jewish tradition of midrash (interpretive translation), Douglas-Klotz used a traditional Syriac-Aramaic version of the Gospels to show how a non-Western listener might have heard the words of a Semitic prophet in a multi-leveled way. His first book, Prayers of the Cosmos, became an international bestseller and led to subsequent works continuing the exploration, which have raised many questions for Biblical and Quranic scholars about their own methodologies.
During this evening mini-course, he discuss the use of multi-leveled poetic verse to translate and interpret ancient Semitic languages in a way that fits the worldview and ways of knowing inherent in these cultures. He relates his work to the movement of ethno-poetics, beginning in the 1970s and talks about his personal background and preparation for the work. He reads from and discusses a number of his translations from the Aramaic of the words attributed to Jesus, from translations of mythic poetry from the Hebrew bible and from verses of the Quran, including selections from the books Desert Wisdom, Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel, Genesis Meditations and Blessings of the Cosmos. This short course was offered on March 3, 2008 as part of the 5th Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace.