Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective

Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective

Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective

Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective

Synopsis

In light of the widespread public perception of incompatibility between Islam and Christianity, this book provides a much-needed straightforward comparison of these two great faith traditions from a broad theological perspective. Award-winning scholar John Renard illuminates the similarities as well as the differences between Islam and Christianity through a clear exploration of four major dimensions--historical, creedal, institutional, and ethical and spiritual. Throughout, the book features comparisons between concrete elements such as creedal statements, prayer texts, and writings from major theologians and mystics. It also includes a glossary of technical theological terms. For western readers in particular, this balanced, authoritative work overturns some common stereotypes about Islam, especially those that have emerged in the decade since September 11, 2001.

Excerpt

Islamic and Christian theologies developed over vast expanses of time and space, were rooted in a host of cultural and linguistic contexts, and have generated enormous libraries of works in dozens of languages and employing numerous methodologies. We are approaching here an immense and complex subject, but before delving into some of the more specific “dimensions” of this involved story, an overview of the major contours of the topic will be helpful. Here I will organize the material in two main sections, each dedicated to one of the two major traditions. In chapters 1–9, I will, by contrast, offer basic thematic comparison by juxtaposing Islamic and Christian perspectives in each of several subtopics.

OVERVIEW OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL THEMES
AND SUBDISCIPLINES

Theological curricula vary from one Christian denomination to another, but a general characterization of the main outlines of contemporary theological subject matter and methodologies will be of use in this context. I have organized the overview under four principal headings: Biblical and Exegetical Theology, History and Theology, Systematic Theology, and Practical/Pastoral/Public Theology.

Biblical and Exegetical Theology

Three major themes lie at the foundation of theological reflection on Christian sacred texts. First, the question of what precisely comprised the . . .

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