“I talked as much about the National Basketball Association in Syria as I did about politics. Syrians felt so global and interested in everything. As a young backpacker, I don't know that I appreciated the historical moment that I was in.” –Rolf Potts
In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Shaun talk about how they first came to know of Father Paolo and Deir Mar Musa monastery in Syria (3:00); the warm and hospitable experience of traveling in other parts of the country (10:00); Father Paolo's "interfaith dialogue" initiatives at Deir Mar Musa (18:30); what happened to Father Paolo after the Syrian government cracked down on dissent and protest in 2011 (29:00); and how Father Paolo's monastery fostered interfaith dialogue over debate, and what his legacy is in Syria (43:00).
Shaun O'Neill is the author of A Church of Islam: The Syrian Calling of Father Paolo Dall'Oglio.
The strangers we meet on the road (Deviate episode)
Paolo Dall'Oglio (Italian priest and peace activist)
Deir Mar Musa (Christian monastery in Syria)
2011 Syrian uprising (phase of the Arab Spring)
Sufism (mystic Islamic practice)
Neuromancer, by William Gibson (novel)
Tahrir Square (public area in Cairo)
Hafez al-Assad (Syrian president from 1971-2000)
Kurdish Syria (northeast part of the country)
Alawites (ethnoreligious group)
Interfaith dialogue (interaction between religious traditions)
Desert Fathers (early Christian monks)
Free Syrian Army (civil war faction)
Daesh (militant Islamists in Syria and Iraq)
Pope John Paul II (Catholic leader)
Of Gods and Men (2010 film)
Frans van der Lugt (Dutch priest killed in Syria)
Syncretism (combining of different beliefs)
The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber.
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