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Christian Hermit in an Islamic World: A Muslim's View of Charles De Foucauld Paperback – December 1, 1999

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Christian Hermit in an Islamic World: A Muslim's View of Charles De Foucauld + Charles de Foucauld (Modern Spiritual Masters)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr (December 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809139030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809139033
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Inspiring. -- Values and Visions Reviews Service

It brings a new angle of study to one of the luminous spiritual persons of our age. -- Commonweal

About the Author

Muslim scholar Ali Merad was professor of Arabic literature and civilization at the University of Lyon, France, in 1975, when he originally wrote this book.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Homrighausen on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles de Foucauld was a French military officer and playboy who, in the 1880s, experienced a dramatic religious conversion while serving in Algeria. He went on to become a hermit in the desert, adopting a life of strict asceticism and serving as a peace-maker among the remote Tuareg people. Although many books have been written about him celebrating his Christian witness, Merad wanted to examine him from the more problematic viewpoint of Muslims in Algeria.

The Muslim problem with Foucauld is not that he is charitable. He lives the life any Christian should: a life of deep gentleness, humility, faith, and charity. Muslims have great respect for Jesus as a venerated prophet, and Merad respects Foucauld as a genuine follower of the Christ. Foucauld was also a different kind of holy man from the marabouts, wandering Islamic holy men who use their spiritual status and power to distance themselves from people and avoid physical labor. This "Christian marabout" did not see labor as beneath him, but labored just as the people he lived around did.

However, Foucauld was French in French-occupied Algeria. No matter how ascetic, how withdrawn from society Foucauld was, the fact remains that he was part of the colonizer. He was not interested in interreligious understanding. He saw Islam as a corrupt religion, and eagerly desired to convert the Muslims to Christ. This tension between his genuine human concern and the structures he was a part of forms Merad's book.

Foucauld supported colonialism, but wanted it to be human and compassionate.
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