Neil Douglas-Klotz

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Neil Douglas-Klotz
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About the speaker

Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. is a world-renowned scholar in religious studies, spirituality and psychology. He directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning and for many years was co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion. In 1982, with the Rev. Tasnim Fernandez, he co-founded the International Network of the Dances of Universal Peace.

A frequent speaker and workshop leader, he is the author of several books. His books on the Aramaic spirituality of Jesus include Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel, Original Meditation: The Aramaic Jesus and the Spirituality of Creation, Blessings of the Cosmos and his latest Revelations of The Aramaic Jesus. His books on a comparative view of ‘native’ Middle Eastern spirituality include Desert Wisdom: A Nomad’s Guide to Life’s Big Questions and The Tent of Abraham (with Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Sr. Joan Chittister). His books on Sufi spirituality include The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish and A Little Book of Sufi Stories. His biographical collections of the works of his Sufi teachers include Gardens of Vision and Initiation and Illuminating the Shadow.

He recently edited four “Little Books” published by Hampton Roads devoted to a new selection of the work of Lebanese-American writer, poet and painter Kahlil Gibran, based on his Middle Eastern roots and culture. In 2021, his anthology of classic writings on spiritual ecology was published by Hampton Roads under the title Wild Wisdom.

Known also for his citizen diplomacy work, Neil led several group trips to Russia and the Middle East and in 2004  cofounded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace ( In 2005 he was awarded the Kessler-Keener Foundation Peacemaker of the Year award for his work in Middle Eastern peacemaking.

Under his Sufi name, Saadi Shakur Chishti, Neil also offers spiritual retreats combining his work with Native Middle Eastern spirituality with the lineage of Chishti Sufism. He was a long-time student of the Murshid Moineddin Jablonski (d. 2001), the spiritual successor of Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti (1996-1971), who was the student of Hazrat Inayat Khan Chishti and Pir Barkat Ali. Saadi was recognised by Moineddin as a teacher in the Sufi path in 1981 and a senior teacher (murshid) in 1993. His current Sufi mentors include Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri. He also serves on the advisory board of the International Association of Sufism.

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