Barbara Austin

Barbara Austin is a member of St. Joseph Monastery, Benedictine Sisters, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Spiritual Director at the St. Joseph Monastery. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and National Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Board. She was Former Prioress of the Benedictine Sisters from 1995-2007. She received her Master’s degree in Religious Studies from St. Meinrad School of Theology.

“I am very impressed with his writings, not only with his understanding of Muslim, the Islamic religion, and the history of Muslims in the world. Also, the main aspect of his teaching and thinking that is so impressing me is his ability to bring together the social aspect of what it means to live in a society as community, with diversity of peoples, and how he has understood his own Muslim faith as a catalyst for that building up of identity, in a way that allows for great diversity within world societies, really.”

“In the writings of Fethullah Gülen that I have been exposed to, my most impressed understanding of how the Hizmet Movement contributes to the common good is through his own understanding of the compassion and mercy of God, and how, then, the people who follow the Hizmet Movement have incorporated that compassion and mercy, through education, through social outreach.”

“As I was thinking about the Hizmet Movement as compared to other social movements, the one outstanding thing that I see is the unity that the Hizmet Movement brings, inviting all people, either through participation in education or reaching out to them in disasters, natural disasters, that brings forth a unity in people that other social movements, focused on the good of certain issues or people, but often loses the focus and becomes divisive.”