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Jews in Dialogue

Jewish Responses to the Challenges of Multicultural Contemporaneity. Free Ebrei Volume 2

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Edited by Magdalena Dziaczkowska and Adele Valeria Messina

Jews in Dialogue discusses Jewish post-Holocaust involvement in interreligious and intercultural dialogue in Israel, Europe, and the United States. The essays within offer a multiplicity of approaches and perspectives (historical, sociological, theological, etc.) on how Jews have collaborated and cooperated with non-Jews to respond to the challenges of multicultural contemporaneity. The volume’s first part is about the concept of dialogue itself and its potential for effecting change; the second part documents examples of successful interreligious cooperation. The volume includes an appendix designed to provide context for the material presented in the first part, especially with regard to relations between the State of Israel and the Catholic Church.

The Gospel According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898)

An Annotated Translation of Tabyīn al-kalām (Part 3)

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Christian W. Troll, Charles M. Ramsey and Mahboob Basharat Mughal

The Gospel According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) offers an annotated translation of Tabyīn al-kalām (Part 3), a commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew (Chapters 1-5) by one of South Asia’s most innovative public thinkers. Broadly known for his modernist interpretation of Islam, Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) appears here as a contemplative mystic who is determined to show the interrelated nature of the Bible and Qur’ān, and the affinity of Christian and Muslim scriptural exegesis.

Uncommon in the history of Christian-Muslim relations, Sayyid Ahmad Khan presents what can only be described as a serious reading of the Gospel. The work includes an extensive introduction to the early Church in general, and the development of the Trinitarian doctrine in particular. Never before presented in English, the text sheds important new light upon the spiritual and intellectual journey of this leading modern interpreter.

John of Damascus and Islam

Christian Heresiology and the Intellectual Background to Earliest Christian-Muslim Relations

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Peter Schadler

How did Islam come to be considered a Christian heresy? In this book, Peter Schadler outlines the intellectual background of the Christian Near East that led John, a Christian serving in the court of the caliph in Damascus, to categorize Islam as a heresy. Schadler shows that different uses of the term heresy persisted among Christians, and then demonstrates that John’s assessment of the beliefs and practices of Muslims has been mistakenly dismissed on assumptions he was highly biased. The practices and beliefs John ascribes to Islam have analogues in the Islamic tradition, proving that John may well represent an accurate picture of Islam as he knew it in the seventh and eighth centuries in Syria and Palestine.

Common Words in Muslim-Christian Dialogue

A study of texts from the Common Word dialogue process

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Vebjørn Horsfjord

In Common Words in Muslim-Christian Dialogue Vebjørn L. Horsfjord offers an analysis of texts from an international dialogue process between Christian and Muslim leaders. Through detailed engagement with the Muslim dialogue letter A Common Word between Us and You (2007) and a large number of Christian responses to it, the study analyses the dialogue process in the wake of the Muslim initiative and shows how the various texts gain meaning through their interaction.

The author uses tools from critical discourse analysis and speech act analysis and claims that the Islamic dialogue initiative became more important as an invitation to Muslim-Christian dialogue than as theological reflection. He shows how Christian leaders systematically chose to steer the dialogue process towards practical questions about peaceful coexistence and away from theological issues.

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Jakob W. Wirén

In Hope and Otherness, Jakob Wirén analyses the place and role of the religious Other in contemporary eschatology. In connection with this theme, he examines and compares different levels of inclusion and exclusion in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish eschatologies. He argues that a distinction should be made in approaches to this issue between soteriological openness and eschatological openness. By going beyond Christian theology and also looking to Muslim and Jewish sources and by combining the question of the religious Other with eschatology, Wirén explores ways of articulating Christian eschatology in light of religious otherness, and provides a new and vital slant to the threefold paradigm of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism that has been prevalent in the theology of religions.

“Jakob Wirén’s study pushes forward the frontiers of three disciplines all at the same time: theology of religions; comparative religions and eschatology. (…) This is a challenging and important book.”
- Gavin D'Costa, University of Bristol, Professor of Catholic Theology, 2017

“This book explores of the status of religious others in Christian eschatology, and of eschatology itself as a privileged place for reflecting on religious otherness. Wiren mines not only Christian, but also Jewish and Muslim sources to develop an inclusive eschatology. Hope and Otherness thus represents an important contribution to both theology of religions and comparative theology.”
- Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Professor of Comparative Theology, 2017

Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse

The ‘Christian Chapter’ of the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394)

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Orkhan Mir-Kasimov

In Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse Orkhan Mir-Kasimov offers an account of the interpretation of these Christian texts by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394), the founder of a mystical and messianic movement which was influential in medieval Iran and Anatolia. This interpretation can be situated within the tradition of ‘positive’ Muslim hermeneutics of the Christian and Jewish scriptures which was particularly developed in Shıīʿī and especially Ismaīʿlī circles. Faḍl Allāh incorporates the Christian apocalyptic texts into an Islamic eschatological context, combining them with Qurʾān and ḥadīth material. In addition to an introductory study, the book contains a critical edition and an English translation of the relevant passages from Faḍl Allāh’s magnum opus, the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr.

The Book of Conviviality in Exile (Kitāb al-īnās bi-ʾl-jalwa)

The Judaeo-Arabic Translation and Commentary of Saadia Gaon on the Book of Esther

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Michael G. Wechsler

This volume presents a critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Esther by Saadia Gaon (882–942). This edition, accompanied by an introduction and extensively annotated English translation, affords access to the first-known personalized, rationalistic Jewish commentary on this biblical book. Saadia innovatively organizes the biblical narrative—and his commentary thereon—according to seven “guidelines” that provide a practical blueprint by which Israel can live as an abased people under Gentile dominion. Saadia’s prodigious acumen and sense of communal solicitude find vivid expression throughout his commentary in his carefully-defined structural and linguistic analyses, his elucidative references to a broad range of contemporary socio-religious and vocational realia, his anti-Karaite polemics, and his attention to various issues, both psychological and practical, attending Jewish-Gentile conviviality in a 10th-century Islamicate milieu.