Questing for Understanding, by David B. Burrell

September 27, 2012

Burrell’s memoir is driven by Jung’s observation that the story of our lives is the story of our times, and it is our task to see how that is the case. Burrell’s work at Notre Dame as a Holy Cross priest, philosopher and theologian has taken him all over the world, in some cases for extended periods of time. Most noteworthy is Burrell’s encounter and engagement with Islam, first in non-Arabic South Asia, later in Arabic Middle East, Iran and Africa. He learned Arabic and has translated some classic Islamic writers. He has also written on interfaith relationships. Burrell reminds us that religions don’t enter into dialogue with each other; people do. Burrell’s life demonstrates how important respect and hospitality are in engaging people of other religions.