The Matheson Trust

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
The Matheson Trust logo.jpg
FounderD M Matheson CBE
TypeEducational Charity
Registration no.284155
FocusComparative religion, Religious symbolism, Perennial philosophy, Theology and Metaphysics
Area served
Key people
Martin Lings
Gai Eaton
William Stoddart
AffiliationsCharity Commission for England and Wales


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][10] 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 MonographsEdit

Since 2008, The Matheson Trust had been co-producing publications with a number of kindred organisations and established publishers: The Prometheus Trust,[11] Fons Vitae[12] (KY), Archetype UK,[13] but December 2010[14] 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".[15]

Matheson LibraryEdit

In March 2011 the Matheson Trust website was launched,[16] 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[17] 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 November 2019, there are more than 700 holdings in the library, a quarter of which are audio recordings.

Audio LibraryEdit

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 is converting scholarly texts and other texts of interest into MP3 format, and making them available through the Audio section of the library.[18] In April 2012 the Matheson Trust Sacred Audio Collection was launched, a repository of selected liturgical audio recordings from the major religious traditions. This collection includes live recordings from temples and ritual gatherings around the world.[19]


  • 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 and Islamic 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
  • Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism, by Algis Uždavinys, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908092-07-6
  • Enduring Utterance: Collected Talks, by Martin Lings, 2015. ISBN 978-1-908092-09-0
  • Primordial Meditation, by Frithjof Schuon, translated by Angela Schwartz and Gillian Harris, 2015. ISBN 978-1-908092-12-0
  • Weighing the Word, by Peter Samsel, 2016. ISBN 978-1-908092-14-4
  • Breaking the Spell of the New Atheism in the Light of Perennial Wisdom, by Gustavo Polit, 2017. ISBN 978-1-908092-15-1
  • The Queen and the Avatar, by Dominique Wohlschlag, 2017. ISBN 978-1-908092-16-8
  • The Great War of the Dark Age: Keys to the Mahabharata, by Dominique Wohlschlag, 2019. ISBN 978-1-908092-17-5
  • Imam ‘Ali From Concise History to Timeless Mystery, by Reza Shah-Kazemi, 2019. ISBN 978-1-908092-18-2

See alsoEdit

Institutions and initiativesEdit

Scholars and authorsEdit


  1. ^ Settlement recorded in the archives of the London Borough of Bromley, 12 January 1981.
  2. ^ Matheson was appointed CBE in 1945, after serving for years as the Secretary of the National Trust: PDF
  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". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  5. ^ "UK Charity Commission entry". 1981-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  6. ^ Algis Uždavinys Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism, p. x (ISBN 978-1-898910-35-0).
  7. ^ "Collaboration with the Temenos Academy". 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  8. ^ "Circling the House of God". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  9. ^ "Including The Origin Of The Buddha Image by Ananda Coomaraswamy". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  10. ^ "Ibn 'Ajiba: Two Treatises on the Oneness of Existence by Jean-Louis Michon". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  11. ^ "Prometheus Trust". Prometheus Trust. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  13. ^ "Archetype Home". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  14. ^ Samuel Zinner. "See Samuel Zinner's blog announcement". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  15. ^ "Publications". The Matheson Trust. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  16. ^ "Matheson Website Launched — The Matheson Trust". 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  17. ^ "". 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  18. ^ "Audio". The Matheson Trust. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  19. ^ "Sacred Audio Collection". The Matheson Trust. Retrieved 2013-01-06.

External linksEdit