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Book: Reconciling Islam, Christianity and Judaism

At the present time, when so-called Islamic radicalism, terrorism and Jihadism occupy major media space, with Islam often depicted as the main culprit, the book attempts a tour de force.

It proposes that Islam is as much victim as culprit in the history that has led to the current hostility. This is because the common claims of both mainstream and radical Islam that Islam represents the high point of the Abrahamic tradition, and therefore a purification of Judaism and Christianity, have been largely ignored, misunderstood or blatantly rejected by these faiths and therefore by ‘the West’ in general. This rejection has effectively rendered Islam as the poor cousin, if not the illegitimate sibling, of the tradition. In turn, this has created long-term resentment and hostility within Islam as well as robbed the ‘Judaeo-Christian West’ of a rich, inter-faith understanding of the wider Abrahamic tradition. The book explores these claims through textual, historical and theological analyses, proposing that many of them stand up better to critical scrutiny than has been commonly acknowledged. It further proposes that seeing Islam in this way has potential to re-awaken its self-understanding as a leader of accord among the Abrahamic faiths, of the kind that characterized the era of Convivencia when, in medieval Spain, Islam constructed and contributed to advanced civilizations characterized by relatively harmonious co-existence between Muslims, Christians and Jews. The book focuses on the role that a more respected and self-confident Islam could play in forging enhanced inter-faith relations in a world that desperately needs them as it struggles to understand and deal with modern and particularly vicious forms of radical Islamism.

About the Author

Terence Lovat is Emeritus Professor (Philosophy, Religion and Theology) at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University, UK. He is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean at Newcastle, currently holding a full-time research position. One of his main areas of research (incl. funded) involves Islam with particular attention to its relationship with Judaeo-Christianity and ‘Western’ civilization. He has won awards from Islamic groups for his work on Islam. Robert Crotty is Emeritus Professor (Religion and Education) at the University of South Australia. He is an eminent biblical studies scholar whose work has focused principally on the Abrahamic religions and their interface. He has written many books on Judaism, Christianity and has publications on Islam, including on the enigmatic role of Hagar, the Arabic wife of Abraham and mother of his first-born, Ishmael. Hagar and Ishmael constitute iconic sacred figures of both mainstream and radical Islam.

Table of contents:

Part I The Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) and a Theory of Religion

  • An Introduction to the Abrahamic Religions

Introduction

Abrahamic Religions

The Abraham/Ibrahim Story

Supersession

The Uneven Issue of the Enlightenment

Islamic Scholarship

  • A Theory of Religion and Being Religious

Introduction

Culture and Multiculturalism

Attitudes to Everyday Culture

Religion and Religious Pluralism

Attitudes to Religious Culture

Religious Pluralism.

Ethnocentrism and Religious Exclusivism

Summarizing Religious Exclusivism

Religious Collectivities

Religious Myth

Sacred Ritual

Mediation

The Mediatorial System

Part II The Sacred Story(ies) of the Abrahamic Religions from Three Vantage Points

  • The Story from the Vantage Point of Judaism

Introduction

The Abraham Story Within Judaism

Dating the Jewish Story

Unpacking the Meaning of the Story

The Hasmoneans

Synchronic Meaning of the Story

Isaac in the Jewish Story

  • The Story from the Vantage Point of Christianity

Introduction

The Jewish Story in the Book of Hebrews and the Letter of James

The Jewish Story in the Synoptic Gospels

An Extended Version of the Aqedah?

Later Christian Writing

The Growth of the Story

  • The Story from the Vantage Point of Islam

Introduction

Ibrahim and Ishaq in the Islamic Story and Ritual

Ishaq and Ishma’il in the Islamic Version

Biblical Truth or Jewish-Christian Colonizing?

The Islamic Account: Re-Interpretation or Original?

The Qur’an and the Overwhelming Basis of Submission

Part III Islamic and Islamist Scholarship and the Abrahamic (Ibrahimic) Tradition

  • The Heart of the Ibrahimic Story in Islam

Introduction

Ibrahim, Ishma’il and the Distinctiveness of Islam

The Importance of Ibrahim and Ishma’il to Islam

The Centrality of Ishma’il

Further Reflection on the Abraham/Ibrahim Story

Positioning Abraham and His Progeny in the Jewish Account

An Arabic Account of Ibrahim and His Progeny

Moses/Musa

The Need for and Justification of Islam

  • The Increasing Cogency of Islamism

Introduction

Islamic Reinterpretation of the Past

Islamist Radicalism

Muhammad al-Ashmawi

Where to from Here?

Part IV Exploring Convivencia and the Potential for Islamic Leadership

  • The Historical Exemplar: La Convivencia

Introduction

Convivencia and the Earlier Theory of Religion

The Caliphate of Cordoba

Norman Palermo

Christian Toledo

Convivencia in the North of Spain

Summarizing Convivencia

Dismantling the Umbrella and Destroying Convivencia

  • Re-constructing Convivencia in the Twenty-First Century

Introduction .

Abrahamic Harmony and Islam’s Special Role

Releasing the Exclusivist Trigger

Bibliographic Information

Title: Reconciling Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Author: Terence Lovat, Robert Crotty

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Language: English

Length: 137 pages

ISBN: 978-3-319-15548-7

Pub. Date: 2015

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