The Matheson Trust

The Matheson Trust
The Matheson Trust logo
Founder(s) D M Matheson CBE
Type Educational Charity
Registration No. 284155
Founded 1974
Location London, UK
Key people Martin Lings
Gai Eaton
William Stoddart
Area served World
Focus Comparative religion, Religious symbolism, Perennial philosophy, Theology and Metaphysics
Motto For the Study of Comparative Religion

The Matheson Trust is an educational charity based in London dedicated to further and disseminate the study of comparative religion, especially from the point of view of the underlying harmony of the major religious and philosophical traditions of the world.



The Matheson Trust was established in London in 1974 by Donald Macleod Matheson CBE (1896-1979),[1] who in addition to his work as a civil servant[2] was active as a translator of Perennialist works, most notably Understanding Islam by Frithjof Schuon[3] and An Introduction to Sufi Doctrine by Titus Burckhardt.[4]

Registered as a UK charity in 1982,[5] the trust was for years active sponsoring academic research,[6] lectures,[7] film production[8] and publications.[9] As of January 2011 they have launched a new series of paperback publications, the Matheson Monographs, and a public website hosting the Matheson Library.

Matheson Trust associates have included, among others, Martin Lings, Charles Le Gai Eaton, William Stoddart and Reza Shah-Kazemi.

Matheson Monographs

Since 2008, The Matheson Trust had been co-producing publications with a number of kindred organisations and established publishers: The Prometheus Trust, Fons Vitae (KY), Archetype UK, but December 2010[10] saw the launch of an independent series, the "Matheson Monographs", covering "scriptural exegesis, the modalities of spiritual and contemplative life, studies of particular religious traditions, comparative analyses, studies of traditional arts, crafts and cosmological sciences, contemporary scholarly expositions of religious philosophy and metaphysics, translations of both classical and contemporary texts and transcriptions of lectures by, and interviews with, spiritual and scholarly authorities from different religious and philosophical traditions".[11]

Matheson Library

In March 2011 the Matheson Trust website was launched,[12] hosting an online library of free selected books and articles, almost exclusively in English, including authors and sources as varied as Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Berzin archives, Charles, Prince of Wales, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, James Cutsinger, Gavin D'Costa, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Harry Oldmeadow, the journal Sacred Web, Huston Smith, Timothy Winter (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad), The Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths and others. Documents are free to browse and download, most in PDF format, with a few articles in HTML.

As of September 2011, there are nearly 200 holdings in the library.

Audio Library

One of the purported aims of the Matheson Library is to use existing contemporary media technologies to make available resources from ancient traditions, either in the form of recitation of traditional scriptures or in the scholarly transmission of the doctrines and insights pertaining to the different religions. An ongoing hear! project aims to convert scholarly texts and other texts of interest into MP3 format, to be made available through the Audio section of the library.[13]


  • Christianity & Islam: Essays on Ontology and Archetype, by Samuel Zinner, 2010. ISBN 978-1-908092-01-4
  • The Living Palm Tree: Parables, Stories, and Teachings from the Kabbalah, by Mario Satz, translated by Juan Acevedo, 2010. ISBN 978-1-908092-00-7
  • Louis Massignon: The Vow and the Oath, by Patrick Laude, translated by Edin Q. Lohja, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908092-06-9
  • The Gospel of Thomas: In the Light of Early Jewish, Christian andIslamic Esoteric Trajectories, by Samuel Zinner, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908092-04-5
  • Sacred Royalty: From The Pharaoh to The Most Christian King, by Jean Hani, translated by Gustavo Polit, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908092-05-2
  • Ascent to Heaven in Islamic and Jewish Mysticism, by Algis Uždavinys, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908092-02-1


  1. ^ Settlement recorded in the archives of the London Borough of Bromley, 12 Jan 1981.
  2. ^ Matheson was appointed CBE in 1945, after serving for years as the Secretary of the National Trust: [1].
  3. ^ George Allen & Unwin, London, 1963.
  4. ^ Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore Pakistan, 1963. For some more biographical information, see his author page at World Wisdom Books.
  5. ^ UK Charity Commission entry:
  6. ^ See Algis Uždavinys, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism, p. x (ISBN 978-1-898910-35-0).
  7. ^ See for instance the collaboration with the Temenos Academy.
  8. ^ For instance: Circling the House of God.
  9. ^ Including The Origin Of The Buddha Image by Ananda Coomaraswamy and Ibn ‘Ajiba: Two Treatises on the Oneness of Existence by Jean-Louis Michon.
  10. ^ See Samuel Zinner's blogannouncement.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

See also

Institutions and Initiatives

Scholars and Authors

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