Ignatian and Hesychast Prayer, Central Asian Sufi Music

Welcome to our July newsletter!

• One of our most recent library additions is an article by Tim Noble on common traits of Ignatian and Hesychast Spirituality, exploring some of the shared fundamentals between Catholic and Orthodox approaches to prayer.

Hesychast and Ignatian spiritualities can be seen as guide books for the journey of divinization. As with all guide books, they are necessarily partial, informed by the background of their writers and practitioners, in dialogue with the Scriptures and a broader hermeneutic community.

• We are happy to present some excerpts from a pioneering book by Razia Sultanova, “From Shamanism to Sufism: Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia,” about the musical tradition where Tengrism and Islam meet in a synthesis of archaic and timeless subtlety and power.

Every performance of this song awakens an image of zikr based on a long developed flow of tension in the form of dynamic waves to culmination and back to the foundation. It is a classical song about spiritual assimilation with God and symbolises the Sufi way to perfection. Despite political and cultural pressure on the texts that have been transformed over the last century, the music continues in the same traditional way.

• To complement the text above, we present a recording by Munojot Yulchiyeva, hailed as one of the greatest performers of classical Uzbek music and Shashmaqam, “the only one who managed to absorb the essence of the Sufi singing style.”

Munojot herself

• Forthcoming UK events: Between 25 September and 1 October we welcome Marc Loopuyt, renowned master of the oud and the flamenco guitar, for three performance-lectures and workshops. This will be a unique opportunity to experience the living tradition of the king of instruments. Follow this link for further details.