By Victor Edwin SJ
New Delhi: Islamic Studies Association (New Delhi) and Vidyajyoti Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations jointly organised a lecture on: “In the way of the Sufi: Paul Jackson’s contribution to Silsila Yi Maneri,” by Dr Meenakshi Khanna, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of History, IP College for Women (University of Delhi), on October 1, 2016, at St Xavier’s School, Delhi. Dr Khanna, a scholar in Asian Sufism who wrote her thesis on Sufi interpretation of dreams, has been associated with Vidyajyoti College of Theology for more than two decades. Fr. Paul Jackson’s deep knowledge of Persian and his insightful understanding of Sufi practices in South Asia have eminently prepared him to make a lifetime of contribution to Sufi studies, through his translation of Shaikh Maneri’s letters, Dr Khanna noted. Fr. Jackson brought to light the spiritual treasures of Shaikh Maneri’s teachings in a language that people can easily read and understand.
Dr Khanna introduced the major works of Fr. Jackson, stating that Fr. Jackson was not only a rigorous scholar, but a Catholic Sufi who had entered into a spiritual realm, where he recognized that dialogue with Muslims was for him the way of seeing God in, and through the eyes of Muslims.