Abraham: Sign of Hope for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, by Karl-Josef Kuschel. Continuum, New York, 1995. 288 pp. $24. 95. ISBN 0-8264-0808-7.
THREE GREAT RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, claim Abraham as their ancestor. Torah, Bible, and Quran all give witness to Abraham and his role in revelation and his example for the life of faith and obedience. Jews, Christians, and Muslims have complex traditions about Abraham as they celebrate him in story, song, prayer, and theological discourse. Kuschel has done an outstanding job of bringing together the scriptural and traditional witnesses to Abraham made by these three communities of faith. This book is informed by sound scholarship and is written in a clear, open style. It makes accessible in one place the deep issues of historical analysis and faith about Abraham that have long been pondered by scholars in these traditions in isolation from one another. Pastor, teacher, and laity can all become party to lively reflection on Abraham our ancestor.
Kuschel presents Abraham because he sees in him and the traditions about his meaning a sign of hope for a new and deepened relationship among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The question of the relationship of Jews, Christians, and Muslims is one that can no longer be left to Middle Eastern politicians or even to departments of religious studies. …