Jonathan Bornman, a respected OCMS alumnus, has made another notable contribution to peace studies with his latest work, American Murids. His thesis while at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS), has evolved into this pivotal book (published by Peter Lang), offering an unprecedented insight into the lives and spiritual journey of an African Sufi Muslim immigrant community in the United States.
American Murids shines a light on peace in a time riddled with contentious discourse concerning Muslims and immigration. Bornman, with his profound background in intercultural studies and deep-rooted passion for Christian-Muslim relations, delves into the lives of the Murids, unraveling the intricate ways in which their spiritual and ethical values shape their interactions within the multicultural mosaic of New York City.
The book sheds light on the Muridiyya of Senegal, a community that, despite being the subject of extensive scholarship, is seen through a fresh lens in Bornman’s work. His focus on nonviolence and the commitment of the Murids to shared peace reveals an inspiring narrative of coexistence and mutual respect. The discovery of a transnational Murid youth movement in New York City is particularly striking, signaling the emergence of an American Muridiyya that balances tradition with new, dynamic expressions of faith.
Bornman’s commitment to highlighting pathways to peace in unexpected places is not confined to his latest literary contribution. His previous work (which we wrote about under Unexpected Peace), includes his impactful peacemaking film projects in Palestine and beyond echoes the same theme of uncovering and nurturing peace in unexpected places and forms. This consistent thread in Bornman’s work underscores his deep-seated belief in the power of empathy, dialogue, and understanding to bridge divides and foster a more harmonious world.
In American Murids, readers are invited to embark on a journey of discovery, where the narratives of the Murid community offer profound insights into the possibilities of peace and coexistence in a diverse society. Bornman’s work is a testament to the notion that peace can indeed flourish in the most unexpected of ways and places, urging us to look beyond our preconceptions and embrace the rich diversity of the human experience.
American Murids, offers up a dialogue of peace and understanding, guided by Bornman’s unwavering passion for bridging cultural and religious divides. This book is not just a scholarly contribution; it’s an invitation to join in the continuous journey towards a more peaceful and inclusive world. Jonathan Bornman’s groundbreaking work American Murids can be purchased here. You can find out more about his film project here, with links to his website.
About the author
Jonathan Bornman (MA Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary; PhD, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Middlesex University) lived with his family in Senegal (1999-2009), where he learned Wolof language and culture. He is a consultant on Christian-Muslim relations. He is also a filmmaker, and founded Dove Tale Productions in 2021.