Syria’s Protestant Heritage

6 lessons from 100 years of history The Protestant history of the Middle East is one of not only diverse religious life, but also contributions to Ottoman and Arab society, according to a new publication from Rev Dr Deanna Ferree Womack. The book, Protestants, Gender and the Arab Renaissance in Late Ottoman Syria (2019, Edinburgh University Press) retraces the steps of early Protestant missionaries to Syria (bilad al-Sham) to explore the experiences of the Syrian Protestant converts and their families. Dr…

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Transnational training group rethinks Europe

Researchers gather in Edinburgh for innovative Horizon2020 proposal Great Britain went to the polls in May 2019 to elect representatives to the European Parliament, perhaps for the last time. Just one week before the latest in Brexit-related drama, researchers from five European institutions gathered at the University of Edinburgh to reconsider the continent’s identity. ‘The question of the understanding of the European identity is crucial for current political and societal discussions’, said Prof Klaus von Stosch of Paderborn University. ‘Without…

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Continuing Education course guides faith leaders in Christian-Muslim relations

The Christian-Muslim Studies Network just concluded a Summer School on Christian Engagement with Islam (for the first time in Edinburgh!) on Friday, so I decided to take this week to reflect and look back on our very first course on interfaith engagement for Christian leaders. We hope to keep these courses coming (perhaps for Muslim leaders, Christian leaders, or a mix of both) in future, so watch this space as we continue forward. Contemporary Christian-Muslim relations has become a global…

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Excavating common ground in Egyptian Christianity

Excavating common ground in Egyptian Christianity A postgraduate profile for Medhat Fayez Note: The Christian-Muslim Studies Network aims to advance academic scholarship and improve public engagement with the scriptural, theological, political, and sociological aspects of Christian-Muslim relations. This post is one of a series that illustrates how postgraduate students are engaging with Christian-Muslim Studies and related fields in Edinburgh.  Medhat Fayez has left a seminary in Cairo for the School of Divinity in Edinburgh, where he searches for common ground not…

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An introduction to Sacred Misinterpretation

Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching Across the Christian-Muslim Divide Lessons from the past and the power of hospitality: An introduction from the author The Christian-Muslim Studies Network presents an interview with Dr Martin Accad, Associate Professor in Islamic Studies at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon and Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). Dr Accad introduced us to what he calls the Kerygmatic approach to religious living, theological dialogue, and the power of hospitality. Dr Accad’s recently published book, Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching…

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Student Profile: From trading floor to School of Divinity

Ataul Khabir has ten years of experience with risk evaluation on the trading floor of some of the world’s biggest financial institutions. His recent career shift from investment banking to postgraduate study of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations was not made without extensive risk evaluation. He had been looking for a university with an Islamic Studies emphasis, but the idea of doing so from a theological angle – that is, at a School of Divinity – had not yet crossed…

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‘Philosophy Without Borders?’

‘Philosophy Without Borders?’ Defining Philosophy at its Cross-Section with Theology By Cameron Clausing A version of this post was given by Cameron Clausing, a PhD candidate in Theology and History at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, as a response to the 2019 Gunning Lecture Series. These lectures were given by Dr Peter Adamson, Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Professor Mona Siddiqui opened this series of lectures with a brief history of…

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‘The road not yet taken’ International conference in Beirut

A conference report for ‘Religion, Politics, and Critique: Comparative Political Theology’ This conference concluded in February 2019, but bios for participants and video recordings of presentations are available. What might ‘political theology’ – often seen as a Western or Christian discourse – contribute to discussion of religion, politics, and the secular in the Middle East? Is the discipline inappropriate to any tradition outside of Europe and the West, or are useful contributions yet awaiting the proper approach? To address this…

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Legal Thought of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti – A reflection

Al-Suyuti: Then and Now – A reflection By Ali Al Lawati The following is a reflection by Ali Al Lawati, a postgraduate student in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Within Islamic scholarly history, notable scholars are often introduced and described by their students using lavish terms. Exaggerated references are made to the scholar’s superior characteristics of knowledge, worship, piety or others. The case of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 1505) provides an alternative case in that…

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