Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Islam's Jesus

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Islam's Jesus

Article excerpt

Islam's Jesus. By Zeki Saritoprak. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014. 222 pp. $74.95.

Islam's views about Jesus are the focus of a new work by Saritoprak of John Carroll University in Cleveland. Next to Muhammad, Jesus is perhaps the most prominent messenger of God in a chain of prophets that Muslims believe reaches from Noah through the biblical patriarchs down through Moses, David, and Solomon. Jesus is mentioned in more than ninety verses of the Qur'an and appears not only as a receiver of divine revelation but can be seen, the author claims, as a precursor of Muhammad in terms of his ethical and pastoral teachings. According to Saritoprak, any differences are due to the different contexts in which the two men lived.

Further, in the Muslim tradition, veneration of Jesus-while markedly different from Christianity-"prefigures" the role of Muhammad. Saritoprak asserts that the Qur'an instructs Christians to avoid exaggerating the personality of Jesus in a way that is not consistent with his message, rejecting both the divinity of Christ and the Trinity. Likewise, Muhammad asks his companions not to deify him and to view him only as a human being, albeit one receiving the final and preeminent revelation from God.

Saritoprak examines further commonalities between the two faith systems, using the figure of Jesus to find ways in which Christians and Muslims can engage in fruitful dialogue. …

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