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I have been living in Doha, Qatar for the last several years teaching academic writing in the English Department at Qatar University. I have written a number of books on Middle Eastern culture and spirituality. Travel is also a major interest in my life. I write and publish in-depth travel articles and have a book of travel essays called Journeys with Soul with articles on Ladakh, the Khyber Pass,


I went to Boston University and Columbia University in New York City. I have lived in the Middle East for the last forty years and have been profoundly influenced by the religion and spiritual culture of this part of the world. Mind you, it is a different world we now live in and a different Middle East than the one I first arrive in many years ago. In addition to five books on the subject of tradition and modernity, I have written a number of articles on tradition, spirituality and alternative medicines.

Because my life has taken me far beyond the horizon of the small town where I was born outside of Boston Massachusetts, I have written about my experiences in many different part of the world, including the Middle and Far East. I have included various travel pieces on my Authors Den web site.  One of these experiences was an unbelievable trip into the NorthWest Frontier Province of Pakistan at the turn of the new millennium where I stayed with a Pathan family in a small village.  Another of these experiences was in Kerala India, where I stayed at an Ayurveda Nursing Home for a successful treatment of a frozen shoulder sports injury.  This also was a fantastic experience that brought new insights to my world experience.


Birth Place: Boston, MA USA

Accomplishments: I have written over ten books on various aspects of spirituality and a number of articles that have appeared in such journals as the Sacred Web published out of Vancouver in Canada and Sophia associated with the Foundation for Traditional Studies.


Borderlands of the Spirit by John Herlihy
In today’s secular environment the two worlds of science and spirituality are alien worlds, distinguished primarily by a deep-seated antagonism in which the principles of spirituality and the pragmatism of modern science exist face to face in a perennial state of confrontation. This profoundly learned work searches the borderlands between these two worlds. Divided into three parts, this work begin...

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Wisdom's Journey by John Herlihy
Why do more than one billion people claim Islam as their religion? American convert John Ahmed Herlihy provides his personal answer and takes readers on a journey to the heart of Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world. Weaving details of Islam's central beliefs and practices-its Five Pillars-with intimate autobiographical details of his more than thirty years in the religion, Herlihy pre...

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Journeys With Soul: by John Herlihy
Adventures to strange and exotic places and traditional cures that came true....

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Living a Muslim Life by John Herlihy
A sweeping introduction into various aspects of Islamic Studies, including Islamic culture and spirituality....

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Near and Distant Horizons by John Herlihy
A compelling case for the need to identify the sources and authenticity of a traditional knowledge that still has the explanatory power to shape and enrich people’s lives in today’s materialistic and anti-spiritual world. To that end, he takes the reader out of the modern era and its scientific worldview back through traditional history to the edge of time in order to raise and reflect upon the fo...

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Feathers in the Dust by John Herlihy
Traditional essays on a variety of everyday topics such as love, trust, silence, death, nature....

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Holy Qur'an: An Intimate Portrait by John Herlihy
The journey of a sacred revelation from a cave in Makkah down through the centuries until the modern era when the book still serves to enlighten billions of people and guides them through the journey of their own lives....

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Wisdom of the Senses by John Herlihy
The Untold Story of their Inner Life...

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Islam For Our Time by John Herlihy
Written by an American Muslim convert who has lived nearly 40 years among the Muslims, the author pre-sents an insider’s account of Islam’s true place within the family of religions, what it means to be a Muslim living in the shadow of the modern world, and how to cultivate a life of spirituality through the way of Islam in today’s anti-spiritual environment. Within its pages, history unfolds, mys...


Modern Man at the Crossroads by John Herlihy
The image of the crossroads refers to the encounter of modern science and traditional knowledge, two parallel worldviews that have converged and now intersect in unexpected ways today. This work questions the hidden faith in the assumptions that define the modern scientific inquiry and highlights the explanatory power of the traditional perspective with its reliance on a transcending faith that br...

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Short Stories

Waiting for Elephants
 by John Herlihy
An adventurous trek with a tracker and a guide through uninhabited jungle in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka this past winter....

The Divided Heart of Cyprus
 by John Herlihy
This is a 3 part series of articles on my trip to Cyprus. I write in-depth travel articles about exotic places I have had the good fortune to visit over the years. My travel book, "Journeys With Soul"...

Singing Solo
 by John Herlihy
Excerpt from my book WISDOM’S JOURNEY. This segment describes my experience as a young grammar school child singing as a soloist in the boy’s choir at our local church outside of Boston....

The Evocative Power of Scent
 by John Herlihy
Dedicated to Eva Pasco who has also written about her passion for the world of scent. This is another excerpt from my book WISDOM OF THE SENSES. Interested readers can let me know through rev...

The Power of Taste
 by John Herlihy
This is an excerpt taken from a chapter of one of my books entitled WISDOM OF THE SENSES. The chapter is called The Appreciative Power of Taste. I open the chapter with this story of my broth...

The Silence of Infancy
 by John Herlihy
Reflections on the silence and angelic innocence found in the presence of an infant child. This is an excerpt taken from a new collection of essays soon to be published called FEATHERS IN THE DUST: Tr...

Song of the Hinge
 by John Herlihy
Written in commemoration of a Turkish friend that I lost contact with over 25 years ago. ...


First Things
 by John Herlihy

Newborn Infant
 by John Herlihy

The Blessed Blanket
 by John Herlihy
Composed on the occasion of the birth of another grandchild. ...

Rainbow on the Bay
 by John Herlihy
I am still on the road, having water-rafted through the Tara Canyon in Bosnia, walked the freedom trail in Boston, visited Broadway in New York, and the beaches of Miami. But nothing compared to the r...

What Is It?
 by John Herlihy
As a change of pace from my usual offerings, here is something a little different, a kind of guessing game in the form of a poem. Living in the Middle East, I saw today an advertisement on the side of...

Soul Mates
 by John Herlihy
One final poem, one final posting, at least for now. I will be travelling and "on the road" for the next few weeks gathering more impressions and materials for my poems, articles and stories. Many tha...

The Impulse to Love
 by John Herlihy


Weave the Secret of Light
 by John Herlihy
The Kiswa is the black drapery that covers the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in Makkah. This article relates briefly the history of the Kiswa and one man's personal experience with it in the Haram in Makk...

Learning Recitation of the Qur'an
 by John Herlihy
An anecdotal account of a Muslim convert's experience in dealing with the process of learning Quran'ic Arabic and mastering the art of Quran'ic recitation...

When Nature Speaks
 by John Herlihy
The article highlights the profound effect that nature can have on human sensibilities when we take the trouble to take notice of the beauty of the natural environment that surrounds us in this world....

Journey of a Book
 by John Herlihy
An Intimate Portrait of the Holy Qur'an...

Ayurveda Story June 2008
 by John Herlihy
The Living Tradition of Ayurveda: The Promise of Ancient Treatments and their Fulfillment ...

Under the Roof of Heaven
 by John Herlihy
Journey through the Silent Places of Ladakh in Northern India, Summer of 2006...

Spiritual Poetry
 by John Herlihy
Review of MUSIC OF THE SKY, an anthology of spiritual poetry....


Exploring the Art of Writing Poetry
 by John Herlihy
Writing Poetry...


A professional website for people employed in many different fields.

World Wisdom Books
A traditional book publisher located in Bloomington, Indiana that publishes books on traditional, religiouis, and spiritual themes. This publisher has published several of my works and sells them online.

The Sacred Web
A spiritual journal published twice a year with articles that highlight the encounter between the traditional and modern worlds.

A professional website for academics to upload and publish online their writing and research.

Additional information

Sample selection from the Preface of Journeys with Soul. “Within each of us, there is a sacred center—call it a well, a bridge, and a hidden cave—that harbors the secret on one’s inborn destiny, the well to view the reflection of heaven, the bridge to cross between visible and invisible worlds, and the cave to meditate upon and internalize the knowledge of the world as the wisdom of the ages. I remember an experience from childhood that had a lasting impression of my native, childhood mind that may well have been the catalyst that put me inside the bottle of my fertile imagination and cast me adrift across the tumultuous sea of life in search of the Holy Grail, the source of some inner Nile, the lost tribe of Israel or the enchanted garden where myth becomes a narrative for truth and the illusions of the world become the signposts of a higher reality.”

Contact Information

Qatar University
Dept. of English Literature & Linguistics P. O. Box 2713
Doha       Qatar
 John Herlihy
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Member Since: Mar, 2001

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