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October, 2008


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| editorial |
The News Media and Terrorism
Seshagiri Rao

| Special Section |
Happy Birthday Seshagiri Rao
a Tribute by Marcus Braybrooke

Letters to the Editor

| creative encounters |
Israel at Sixty a new paradigm or more of the old?
Tony Bayfield

Thomas Merton's Encounter with Sufism
Rasoul Sorkhabi

A Critical Look at Some Qur'anic Verses on
War & Violence
Asghar Ali Engineer

Asmâ al-Husnâ the beautiful names of God
Gilbert Friend-Jones

Religion, Spirituality and the Secular
Marcus Braybrooke

| reflections |
Reflections On Meditation Buddhist Meditation
The Buddhist Group of Kendal

| sacred spaces |
Alan Race

| voices of youth |
Al-Andalus medieval interfaith haven
Joshua Michael Zaslow

| focus on the interreligious movement |
A First for Mexico a report on the Encuentro Mundial Interreligioso (International Interreligious Encounter)
held at Monterrey, Mexico, September 21-24, 2007
Joseph Prabhu

| in review |
Review Article: Grandmothers Counsel the World
Georgene Wilson


Briefly Noted

| poetry |
Captain's Log
Ira Slotkin

Pilgrimage to Mecca Swadeka Ahsun

| prayers and meditation |
Thomas Merton's Prayer

A Prayer
Gary Snyder

| patrons and editorial board members |

Icon of the Christ and the Rulers in the Hagia Sophia

This mosaic, located in the South Gallery of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia shows Christ enthroned between the Empress Zoe (1028-1050) and her third husband Constantine IX Monomachus (1042-1055). The central figure of Christ is on a larger scale, as befits his divine nature. The mosaic depicts the two rulers making offerings. Constantine IX presents an apokombion, a pouch filled with gold coins. Zoe holds a scroll listing her many gifts to the church.

Constantinople's magnificent Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) was in Byzantine times a patriarchal basilica. With the coming of the Ottomans in 1453, the church became one of the great mosques of the city of Istanbul. Today it is a museum preserving spectacular Christian and Muslim art and architecture. Experts believe that the mosaic was probably commissioned by Emperor Romanus II Argyrus (1028-1034), Zoe’s first husband, who was a major benefactor of the Hagia Sophia.

Christ and the Rulers, Hagia Sophia
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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