"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Christian-Muslim Dialogue

The dialogue between Christianity and Islam--such as it is--may well prove to be, as Theodore Pulcini wrote in a review in the most recent issue of Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies of Mahmoud Ayoub's  A Muslim View Of Christianity: Essays on Dialogue ,the most determinative such dialogue of our time. It is a dialogue beset by any number of difficulties--including many who regard it as a waste of time--and so attempts to undertake just such a dialogue are to be welcomed, including this new book which the publisher just sent me:

John Renard, Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective (University of California Press, 2011), 344pp.

Renard teaches at Saint Louis University, and is the author of other recent works on Islam, including Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood and Tales of God's Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation.

About this new book, the publisher provides us the following description:

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.
 I look forward to having this reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies.  

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