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Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Perspectives of Four Lebanese Thinkers

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Heidi Hirvonen

Lebanon is a significant region of encounter between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East. This book examines how Christian-Muslim dialogue is envisioned by four present-day Lebanese thinkers: Great Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah and Doctor Mahmoud Ayoub from the Shiite tradition, and Metropolitan Georges Khodr and Doctor, Father Mouchir Basile Aoun from the Eastern Christian Antiochian tradition.
The study seeks to bring the four thinkers into dialogue on a number of topics, including doctrinal themes, ethical principles and the issue of political power-sharing in Lebanon. All four thinkers make several suggestions for facilitating mutual understanding and transcending old debates. The concept of God and the principle of neighbourly love seem to have particular potential as fruitful bases for further dialogue.

Islamic Law and the Crisis of the Reconquista

The Debate on the Status of Muslim Communities in Christendom

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Alan Verskin

The Reconquista left unprecedentedly large numbers of Muslims living under Christian rule. Since Islamic religious and legal institutions had been developed by scholars who lived under Muslim rule and who assumed this condition as a given, how Muslims should proceed in the absence of such rule became the subject of extensive intellectual investigation. In Islamic Law and the Crisis of the Reconquista, Alan Verskin examines the way in which the Iberian school of Mālikī law developed in response to the political, theological, and practical difficulties posed by the Reconquista. He shows how religious concepts, even those very central to the Islamic religious experience, could be rethought and reinterpreted in order to respond to the changing needs of Muslims.

The Character of Christian-Muslim Encounter

Essays in Honour of David Thomas

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Edited by Douglas Pratt, Jon Hoover, John Davies and John A. Chesworth

The Character of Christian-Muslim Encounter is a Festschrift in honour of David Thomas, Professor of Christianity and Islam, and Nadir Dinshaw Professor of Inter Religious Relations, at the University of Birmingham, UK. The Editors have put together a collection of over 30 contributions from colleagues of Professor Thomas that commences with a biographical sketch and representative tribute provided by a former doctoral student, and comprises a series of wide-ranging academic papers arranged to broadly reflect three dimensions of David Thomas’ academic and professional work – studies in and of Islam; Christian-Muslim relations; the Church and interreligious engagement. These are set in the context of a focussed theme – the character of Christian-Muslim encounters – and cast within a broad chronological framework.

Contributors, excluding the editors, are: Clare Amos, John Azumah, Mark Beaumont, David Cheetham, Rifaat Ebied, Stanisław Grodź SVD, Alan Guenther, Damian Howard SJ, Michael Ipgrave, Muammer İskenderoğlu, Risto Jukko, Alex Mallett, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Lucinda Mosher, Gordon Nickel, Jørgen Nielsen, Claire Norton, Emilio Platti, Luis Bernabé Pons, Peniel Rajkumar, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Andrew Sharp, Sigvard von Sicard, Richard Sudworth, Mark Swanson, Charles Tieszen, John Tolan, Davide Tacchini, Herman Teule, Albert Walters.

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.

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Edited by Josef Meri

This volume assembles multidisciplinary research on the Judaeo-Islamic tradition in medieval and modern contexts. The introduction discusses the nature of this tradition and proposes the more fluid and inclusive designation of “Jewish-Muslim Relations.” Contributions highlight diverse aspects of Jewish-Muslim relations in medieval and modern contexts, including the academic study of Jewish history, the Qur’anic notion of the “upright community” referring to the “People of the Book,” Jews in medieval fatwas, use of Arabic and Hebrew script, Jewish prayer in Christian Europe and the Islamic world, the permissibility of Arabic music in modern Jewish thought, Jewish and Muslim feminist exegesis, modern Sephardic and Morisco identity, popular Tunisian song, Jewish-Muslim relations in cinema and A.S. Yehuda’s study of an 11th-century Jewish mystic.

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Edited by Alberdina Houtman, Tamar Kadari, Marcel Poorthuis and Vered Tohar

In Religious Stories in Transformation: Conflict, Revision and Reception, the editors present a collection of essays that reveal both the many similarities and the poignant differences between ancient myths in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and modern secular culture and how these stories were incorporated and adapted over time. This rich multidisciplinary research demonstrates not only how stories in different religions and cultures are interesting in their own right, but also that the process of transformation in particular deserves scholarly interest. It is through the changes in the stories that the particular identity of each religion comes to the fore most strikingly.

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Edited by Petra Sijpesteijn and Alexander T. Schubert

Historians have long lamented the lack of contemporary documentary sources for the Islamic middle ages and the inhibiting effect this has had on our understanding of this critically important period. Although the field is richly served by surviving evidence, much of it is hard to locate, difficult to access, and philologically intractable. Presenting a mixture of historical studies and new editions of Greek, Arabic and Coptic material from the seventh to the fifteenth century C.E. from Egypt and Palestine, Documents and the History of the Early Islamic World explores the untapped wealth of documentary sources available in collections around the world and shows how this exciting material can be used for historical analysis.

Contributors include: Hugh Kennedy, Anne Regourd, Jairus Banaji, Alain Delattre, Shaun O’Sullivan, Anna Selander, Frédéric Bauden, Mostafa El-Abbadi, Rachel Stroumsa, Sebastian Richter, Tascha Vorderstrasse, Matt Malczycki, R.G. Khoury, Nicole Hansen, and Alia Hanafi.

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Karel Steenbrink

Catholics in Independent Indonesia: 1945-2010 concludes Steenbrink’s three volume historical account of Catholicism in Indonesia with a detailed report of the survival and growth of this minority religion in Muslim Indonesia since its independence in 1945.
Colonial Catholicism survived in the independent Republic of Indonesia during the nationalist Sukarno regime (1945-1965) and regained a new dynamic during the general religious revival that was part of the New Order of Soeharto after 1965. From a Dutch-inspired institution it became a fully Indonesian steered community with a modern and international character. The second half of the book will deal with the different regional developments in this vast country.

The Religious Polemics of the Muslims of Late Medieval Christian Iberia

Identity and Religious Authority in Mudejar Islam

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Mònica Colominas Aparicio

The Religious Polemics of the Muslims of Late Medieval Christian Iberia examines the corpus of polemical literature against the Christians and the Jews of the protected Muslims (Mudejars). Commonly portrayed as communities in cultural and religious decay, Mònica Colominas convincingly proves that the discourses against the Christians and the Jews in Mudejar treatises provided authoritative frameworks of Islamic normativity which helped to legitimize the residence of their communities in the Christian territories. Colominas argues that, while the primary aim of the polemics was to refute the views of their religious opponents, Mudejar treatises were also a tool used to advance Islamic knowledge and to strengthen the government and social cohesion of their communities.