Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue

Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue

Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue

Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue

Synopsis

Often the differences between the three Abrahamic religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- seem more obvious than their commonalities, leading to the question "Do we worship the same God?" Can the answer be "yes" without denying our differences?

This volume brings Jewish, Christian, and Muslim philosophers and theologians together to answer this question, offering rare insight into how representatives of each religion view the other monotheistic faiths. Each of their contributions uniquely approaches the primary question from a philosophical perspective that is informed by the practice of worship and prayer. Concepts covered include "sameness" and "oneness," the nature of God, epistemology, and the Trinity. Do We Worship the Same God? models serious-minded, honest, and respectful interreligious dialogue and gives us new ways to address an ongoing question.

Excerpt

The Same God? the Perspective of Faith,
the Identity of God, Tolerance, and Dialogue

Christoph Schwöbel

Who’s to Decide?

The question whether Judaism, Christianity, and Islam worship and believe in the same God is an intensely debated issue of theological reflection in each of the three traditions and one of the central topics of conversations between the three monotheistic religions often grouped together as the Abrahamic faiths. the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, is often referred to as indicating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. On closer inspection, however, a different and more complicated picture emerges. Nostra Aetate emphasizes that all peoples are one community (una communitas), have one origin, since God let the whole of humankind live on earth (unam habent originem cum Deus omne genus hominum inhabitare fecerit super universam faciem terrae), and have one ultimate goal (unum etiam habent finem ultimum, Deum …). It also underlines that the various religions expect an answer to the riddles of the human condition, which culminate in the question of the ultimate and ineffable mystery of our existence, from which we have our beginning and toward which we strive (quid demum illud ultimum et ineffabile mysterium quod nostram existentiam amplectitur, ex quo ortum sumimus et quo tendimus). This, however, is not primarily an anthropological constant, an essential feature of the human condition; rather it is rooted in the fact that God’s providence and the testimony of his goodness as well as God’s counsel of salvation extend to all . . .

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