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This article examines the use of the Qur’ānic term ahl al-kitāb by several contemporary Muslim and Christian scholars in the context of our increasingly interconnected and pluralist societies. The Arabic term ahl al-kitāb is frequently translated as the People of the Book. The People of the Book are the religious communities that the Qur’ān identifies as following divine revelation in the form of a book. Traditionally these communities are Jews, Christians, Sabians and to a lesser extent Zoroastrians. Sometimes the Qur’ān praises these communities and their sacred texts and other times they are criticised. Therefore, what the Qur’ān has to say about these communities and their texts is highly contextual, requiring nuanced understanding of any verse in question. For Islamic scholars, the application of the Qur’ānic commentary tradition, known as tafsīr allows for an authoritative link to the past that anchors their contribution in modern discourse whether in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, America, Europe or elsewhere. Variations from past interpretations of particular social issues, due to the needs of the common good, or participation as equal citizens in multi-faith and multi-cultural societies, often follows formal reflection on past scholarship, combined with the introduction of new contexts as variables in the decision-making process. This is the case, for instance, when Muhammad ibn Qasim, in the 8th century, extended the designation of People of the Book to Buddhism and Hinduism. The article subsequently demonstrates the resilience of the parameters set within the traditional commentary for Muslim interlocutors. Therefore, this article posits, greater awareness by Christians of the application of the traditional commentary, can play an important role in the development of improved dialogue and social cooperation, whereby each may respect the other as fully Muslim and fully Christian.

In: International Journal of Asian Christianity
This volume was first published by Inter-Disciplinary Press in 2016.

Sport is multi-billion dollar business. Sport is a kick around in the park. Sport is high (and low) politics. Sport is said to shape admirable personal qualities. Sport is said to embed the worst of white male heterosexual able-bodied privilege. Sport is said to break down social barriers. Sport is said to entrench a narrow nationalism. The list of what sport is said to be can be extended almost ad infinitum.

This e-book attempts to make sense of some of the multiplicity of the ‘things’ that sport can be, mean and do. The papers in this volume explore the diversity of sport, providing insights from a wealth of perspectives into this ubiquitous cultural practice. The e-book will appeal to students, practitioners and readers who want to gain a fuller understanding of the games we watch and play.
In: Sport, Identity and Community