Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Synopsis

This book captures the autobiographical reflections of twenty-eight Christian men and women who, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, committed their lives to the study of Islam and to practical Christian-Muslim relations in new and irenic ways. Their contributions come from across thespectrum of the Western church and record what drew them into the study of Islam. Their accounts take us to twenty-five countries and into all the branches of Islamic studies: Qur'an, Hadith, Shari'a, Sufism, philology, theology, and philosophy. They give fascinating insights into personal encounters with Islam and Muslims, speak of the ways in which their Christian traditions ofspiritual training formed and nourished them, and deal with some of the misunderstandings and opposition they have faced along the way.

Excerpt

“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Lk. 6:31). Seek to understand others as you would have them seek to understand you. Teach about others as you would have them teach about you. This might be seen as the underlying principle of the articles in this collection. This book represents a half-century: the half-century that saw the biggest change in Christian attitudes to Islam in history, the half-century between the youngest and the oldest of our contributors, and the half-century of their lives that many of these writers have committed as Christian students of Islam and as servants in the cause of Christian-Muslim relations.

This new epoch was ushered in by the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II), developments under the auspices of the World Council of Churches and the shifts that took place in Christian ideas of mission. It coincided with the decades after the European powers’ withdrawal from colonialism and the significant increase in settled Muslim communities across Europe and North America. the majority of those who have contributed to this book are now seventy or older, hence the reason why we felt the need to get their experiences on record before . . .

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