"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).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Muslim-Christian Bridge-Building

As the Orthodox theologian Theodore Pulcini wrote last year in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, the dialogue between Christians--especially Eastern Christians--and Muslims is likely to prove to be the most important such dialogue in our time and for some time to come. A recent publication aids that dialogue by exploring some fundamental questions of theological anthropology:

Michael Ipgrave and David Marshall, eds., Humanity Texts and Contexts: Christian and Muslim Perspectives a Record of the Sixth Building Bridges Seminar Convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Georgetown University Press, 2011), 158pp.

About this book and its series, and the dialogue in general, the publisher says:
"Humanity: Texts and Contexts" is a record of the 2007 Singapore "Building Bridges" seminar, an annual dialogue between Muslim and Christian scholars cosponsored by Georgetown University and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This volume explores three central questions: What does it mean to be human? What is the significance of the diversity that is evident among human beings? And what are the challenges that humans face living within the natural world? A distinguished group of scholars focuses on the theological responses to each of these questions, drawing on the wealth of material found in both Christian and Islamic scriptures. Part one lays out the three issues of human identity, difference, and guardianship. Part two explores scriptural texts side by side, pairing Christian and Islamic scholars who examine such themes as human dignity, human alienation, human destiny, humanity and gender, humanity and diversity, and humanity and the environment. In addition to contributions from an international cast of outstanding scholars, the book includes an afterword by Archbishop Rowan Williams.

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