Faith, Humor, and Paradox

Faith, Humor, and Paradox

Faith, Humor, and Paradox

Faith, Humor, and Paradox

Excerpt

Many sources have flowed together to give rise to this book, and their confluence spans many decades. With the passage of years it has become almost impossible for me to ascertain which idea came from which source. They have merged and mixed in my mind like the waters of many rivers flowing gently into the one sea. It is as if many voices had joined in chorus, and as happens when a choir sings, the individual voices are submerged in the joint sound of the whole. Still, I know the fountain springs. Like a conductor, I have before me the music score: I can identify the strains. I feel, therefore, that I should recognize with gratitude the source of ideas whose influence has been formative, and these are, mostly, my teachers, Peter De Letter, Jacques Dupuis, and Jules Volckaert. My colleague, Joanne P. Taylor, introduced me to the cultural dimensions of humor; Bill Orr made sure I did not misunderstand Gödel; and my wife, Katherine Götz, courageously ploughed through the manuscript and offered many suggestions.

I have been blessed with a dedicated and understanding editor in James T. Sabin, of Praeger Publishers, and my copy editor, Katie Chase, was ever vigilant and helpful.

Besides these, grateful acknowledgment is made to the following publisher for permission to reprint (upon payment of a fee) previously published material:

Paulist Press, for permission to quote from Early Islamic Mysticism, edited by Michael A. Sells. Copyright © 1996. Used with permission of Paulist Press.

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