An ABC Garland, Sacred Masks and William of Tripoli

Varna-mala, the “garland” or “rosary of letters”, is the ancient Hindu recitation of the Sanskrit alphabet, an image and human reenactment of the primordial tune to which Shiva created the universe. Two very good recordings of these Shiva Sutras are the latest addition to our internationally acclaimed Sacred Audio Collection.

• We are happy to publish yet another of the masterful pieces by Titus Burckhardt, “The Sacred Mask”, a compelling testimony to the unity between traditional art, rites and metaphysics.

In a certain sense, the sun is the divine mask par excellence. For it is like a mask in front of the divine light, which would blind and consume earthly beings if it were unveiled.

A study by Thomas F. O’Meara OP introduces us to the life and thought of Dominican friar William of Tripoli, a medieval precursor of comparative studies, and his theological attempts to understand Islam in the very midst of the Crusades.

William was not only a comparative phenomenologist of religions but a theologian of what he named the “via salutis,” the way of salvation. He located Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in one salvation history. God is the origin and destiny of the one way of saving knowledge.