The Druze | Podcast

http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3550861.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3571906.htm

The Good Life: Druze practical spirituality (Part 1)

Aref Beiani

Author of At’Tawhid Sect History and Doctrine: An Introduction

AudioRelated Audio:

The Goodlife: Druze spirituality (part 1)

Noel Debien with Aref Beiani

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Through 20th century war reports from Lebanon, you’ve probably heard mention of the Druze (at’Tahwid) – perhaps even in the context of the word militia. And though presently remaining aloof as Syria erupts in civil war, there are maybe 700,000 Syrian Druze there.

If you have never been able to make sense of Middle-Eastern politics, welcome to the club. But the excellent news is that one part of the Middle-East puzzle will likely become clearer in this, the first of two episodes on the Druze Goodlife.

The esoteric Druze sect sprang out of Shia Islam about a thousand years ago. Some scholars say they absorbed ideas from Sufism, Greek philosophy and from Gnosticism. Ideas like the ‘Word/ logos’ and the ‘Nous/ universal mind’ are familiar in their teaching, hence being disowned by many Muslims.

And like the ruling Alahwi sect in Syria, many Druze also believe in re-incarnation (human being to human being only)- which is certainly not your run-of-the-mill Islam.

Though their religion shows great reverence for some Christian prophets, they came to Western fame first during the crusades. Their fierce troops were extremely effective in defeating the Christian crusaders.

They permit no conversion into their faith, nor do they permit intermarriage with non-Druze.

Their teaching allows them the concession to deny their faith in times of persecution. Their custom of Taqiya (like many persecuted Shia Muslims also) is concealing or disguising their beliefs when necessary.

Their believers are in two distinct ranks, the enlightened (al-Uqqal) – and the un-enlightened(al-Juhhal). Their often-persecuted beliefs have long been cloaked in deep secrecy.

But the Druze are being startlingly open these days as they settle in free societies like Australia, and where they are no longer persecuted.

We have thousands of Druze living in Australia, along with academic work examing their experience here – and only recently news reports told of an Adelaide random arsonist who burned down the Adelaide Druze meeting hall (though reportedly not targetting the Druze in particular), devastating Druze Australians in Adelaide.

Aref Najib Beaini is the author of At’Tawhid Sect History and Doctrine: An Introduction, ISBN 978-1-921614-17-0

The Good Life: The Druze and reincarnation (Part 2)

Druze Sheikh

A Druze leader in traditional garb

AudioRelated Audio:

The Good Life and the Druze (Part 2)

Reincarnation as a distinctive belief in this monotheistic sect.

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Reincarnation is one key to understanding the distinctiveness of the esoteric Druze sect, many of whom live in Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

This second part of the Good life for the Druze we delve deeper into this sect sprang out of Shia Islam about a thousand years ago. Scholars say they absorbed ideas from Sufism, Greek philosophy and from Gnosticism; things like the Word/ logos and the universal mind- getting themselves disowned by many Muslims.

As we found in our previous episode, they permit no conversion into their faith, nor do they permit intermarriage with non-Druze.Their teaching allows them the concession to deny their faith in times of persecution. Their custom of Taqiya (like many Shia Muslims also) is concealing or disguising their beliefs when necessary.Their believers are in two distinct ranks : the enlightened- and the un-enlightened; and their often persecuted beliefs have long been cloaked in deep secrecy.

But the Druze are being startlingly open these days as they settle in free societies like Australia, and where they are not persecuted.

We have thousands of Druze living in Australia – and only recently news reports told of an Adelaide arsonist who burned down the Druze meeting hall there, devastating Druze Australians in Adelaide.

Aref Beiani is an Australian Druze author, aspiring one day to the ranks of the Druze enlightened. He shares his understanding of Druze mystical belief and practice

Aref Najib Beaini is also the author of At’Tawhid Sect History and Doctrine: An Introduction, ISBN 978-1-921614-17-0

If you enjoyed this episode, you might also be interested in:

1. The Good Life and Gnosticism (part 1) with USA Gnostic bishops
2. The Good Life and Gnosticism (part 2) with Australian Gnostic bishop Tim Mansfield
3. The Good Life and Catholic womenpriests bishop Patricia Fresen
4. The Good Life and Julian of Norwich
5. The Good Life and Zoroastrianism
6. The Good Life and the Mandaeans (part 1)
7. The Good Life and the Mandaeans (part 2)
8. The Good Life and Druze practical spirituality (Part 1)
9. The Good Life : Druze practical spirituality and reincarnation (Part 2)

Stauffenberg was Right!

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