Speaker Profiles

The Christian-Muslim Studies Network is excited to welcome a distinguished group of scholars to Edinburgh in September 2017.

Gorazd Andrejč Gorazd profile picture(1)

On Christian Expressions of Christian-Muslim Disagreements in Today’s Europe

Dr Gorazd Andrejč is a philosopher and theologian. His main academic interests are religious language, the variety of belief-attitudes, felt experience, liberal theology (esp. Christian); interreligious and religious-secular relations (esp. in Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, but also in the rest of Europe), communication and modes of interreligious disagreement; and the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Paul Tillich, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and contemporary (re)interpretations of these thinkers. He is a University of Cambridge graduate, having completed the MSt in the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations at the Woolf Institute and St Edmund’s College. In 2013 he completed his PhD entitled From Existential Feelings to Belief in God at the University of Exeter.


Yusuf Çelik

Reframing the ethics and the salvific message of the Qur’an in reference to Muslim-Christian relations: the historicist Qur’an hermeneutics of Mustafa Öztürk

Yusuf Celik is a researcher and teacher of contemporary Islamic theology/philosophy in relation to contemporary post-modern philosophy. He is currently a PhD-student at Edinburh University, and works under the supervision of Joshua Ralston and Mona Siddiqui on a dissertation within the field of late-modern Qur’an hermeneutics in the Turkish context.


Exorcising ‘Allah’” The Anti-Islamic Rhetoric among the Indonesian Sacred Names

Dr. Leonard Chrysostomos is a core doctoral faculty and researcher in the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS) and in the Faculty of Theology, Duta Wacana Christian University, both in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He teaches History of Religions, Christianity, Judaism, Theology and Popular Culture, Theology and Modern Science, and Theology and Digital Culture. His research interests are Abrahamic religious tradition, religion online, and popular culture. His latest research project is Hoaxtivism as a collective social action.

Pamela CouturePamela Couture

Christian-Muslim Student Encounter through Experiential Pedagogical Methods

Rev Pamela D. Couture is the inaugural Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair in Church and Community. She is an accomplished pastoral theologian and scholar, is ordained as an elder by the United Methodist Church and holds annual conference membership in Northern Illinois Annual Conference. She comes to Emmanuel College from the Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., where she has held the position of Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Practical Theology. Her current research has focused on the peacemaking and reconciliation practices of rural United Methodists Congolese, as they worked to rebuild their society following the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1997 to 2001. Her publications include Child Poverty: Love, Justice, and Social Responsibility. 

Fadi DaouFr. Fadi

Religious Social Responsibility: A common call for authenticity

Fadi Daou is the Chairperson and CEO of Adyan Foundation, where he contributes, in Lebanon and internationally, to coexistence, interfaith relations and inclusive citizenship. Adyan’s work was recognized in 2011 by the Civil Peace Award in Lebanon, and in 2013 by the International Prize from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Living Together Peacefully in a Diverse World. For his personal leadership for peace, he received the “Civilization of Love” award in 2005. His mission is rooted in and reflects the integration of three distinct dimensions. First is his professorship and PhD in Christian Theology with a Masters in Political Philosophy, accompanied by research in Theology of religions, Citizenship, inter-religious relations and Geopolitics of religions, including co-authorship of “Divine Hospitality: A Christian-Muslim Conversation.” Second is his entrepreneurship and policy-making as Lebanon’s director of the public policy reform: “National Strategy for Citizenship and Coexistence Education.” Third is his spiritual role as priest in the Maronite (Catholic) Church, where he founded the Interreligious and ecumenical offices, and represented the Holy See in dialogue with Iran and Al-Azhar.

Wietske de Jong-Kumru

 A Postcolonial Look at Christian-Muslim Encounter in the Netherlands: Facing the Indonesian Mirror

David DecosimoDecosimo-cropped--853x1024 (1)

Liberating Islam: Freedom as an Islamic Value

David DeCosimo is Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston University. He works in theology, ethics, religion and politics, and philosophy and theory of religion, focusing especially on Christianity and Islam and on philosophical, theological, and theoretical questions surrounding relations among Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists. He has particular interests in pre-modern texts and figures, both on their own terms and as resources for philosophical and theological work that offers religious believers and non-believers alike new ways of imagining their relations to one another and fresh responses to the political and ethical challenges they face. Central to his teaching and research is an effort to show how tradition and liberation can go hand in hand.

Wagdy Elisha

Polemics as an Act of Communal Self-Defense: Egyptian Christian Televangelist Zakaria Botros as a Model

Wagdy Elisha is currently a PhD candidate at United Lutheran Seminary (previously the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia). His researches includes Christian-Muslim Relations in the Middle East, public theology, and religion and media. He holds a Master’s degree from Princeton Seminary, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in theological studies from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, and a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications from Cairo University.

David GraftonDavidGrafton-150x150

Looking for the essential Muslim: A critique of common Interfaith engagement and a proposal for Particular Intercommunal Christian-Muslim Relations from below

The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton is the newly appointed Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations on the faculty of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary. Dr. Grafton holds a PhD in Islamic Studies, from the Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, University of Birmingham, England, an MDiv from Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Bachelor’s from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Grafton’s academic interests focus on Christian-Muslim relationships, history of Christianity in the Middle East, American Christian perspectives on religion and society in the Middle East, and 19th and 20th Protestant missionary thought on Islam.

Anne Hege GrungAHG

Gender Justice as a working concept in Muslim -Christian studies: Challenges and possibilities of transformations

Anne Hege Grung is Associate Professor in Practical Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. She has worked in the field of Muslim-Christian relations since the 1990’s in Norway and beyond, first at a dialogue center in Oslo and later at the University. Her primary field of interest has been gender and Muslim-Christian dialogue, and in 2015 she published Gender Justice in Muslim-Christian Readings: Christian and Muslim Women in Norway Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran and the Hadith (Brill). More recently, she has been researching the interpretation of violence against women among Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Norway and Lebanon.

Hans HarmakaputraHans' photo 2017

Contesting the Meaning of “Unbelievers” in Indonesia: An Islamic Fatwa on the Prohibition of Wearing Non-Muslim’s Attributes and a Christian Response

Hans Abdiel Harmakaputra is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Theology at Boston College. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Christian Theology at Jakarta Theological Seminary and Master’s degree in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, Connecticut. His research includes comparative theology, theology of religions, postcolonial theology, and Muslim-Christian relations in the Indonesian context.

Paul HeckSORAC.PHOTO.2015.74

Divine Favour and Pain in Christian and Muslim Traditions

Paul L. Heck, professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University, received his PhD at University of Chicago in Islamic Studies and did a post-doctorate in the Society of Fellows at Princeton University. His research interests include the study of Christianity and Islam through a single theological lens and the history of theological reasoning in Islam. His current research focuses on the relation of emotions to religious purposefulness. He is founding director of The Study of Religions Across Civilizations (SORAC), a project at Georgetown that brings together graduate students based in the US, Europe, and Arab contexts for programs geared towards a cross-cultural study of religion. He is the author of Common Ground: Islam, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism (Georgetown 2009) and, most recently, Skepticism in Classical Islam: Moments of Confusion (Routledge 2014).

Kathryn Heidelberger Kathryn Heidelberger

Mary, the Prophet: A Constructive Proposal for furthering Interfaith Relationships

Kathryn Bradford Heidelberger is a Campus Minister coordinating Ecumenical and Interfaith Engagement at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Wheaton College and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. As a theologian and minister, Heidelberger seeks to develop creative and constructive theological resources to further interfaith relationships.

Joshua HollmannJoshua Hollmann Picture Color

Nicholas of Cusa and Christian-Muslim Dialogue Past and Present

Dr. Hollmann is Chair of the Theology Department and Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia College. His teaching and research interests are comparative religion, philosophy and western religions, philosophy of religion, and Christian thought and history. Dr. Hollmann has taught at universities and seminaries in India, Sudan, Canada, Turkey, Argentina, Haiti and the Philippines. He also studied at Hangzhou University and the University of Cambridge. In addition, he has published articles and chapters in books, most recently in Nicholas of Cusa and Islam (Brill), and authored the forthcoming book: The Religious Concordance: Nicholas of Cusa and Christian-Muslim Dialogue (Brill). He is co-editor of the forthcoming book Nicholas of Cusa and the Making of the Early Modern World (Brill). He is recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Doctoral Research Fellowship and other awards. Rev. Dr. Hollmann pastored a multicultural Lutheran congregation in Montreal, and now serves as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in New York City (Woodside, Queens). He is also Second Vice President of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

David G Kibble

Christian-Muslim Engagement: Moving Beyond Traditional Theological Models

David Kibble, an Edinburgh theology graduate, is a retired Deputy Headteacher and a Reader at St George’s Church, Leeds. For a number of years he has been involved in interfaith work with Jews and Muslims in the city and has had articles published in theological and defence journals on interfaith matters and issues concerning the Middle East. He chairs the Standing Together team in the city which sees Jews, Christians and Muslims saying ‘no’ to violence in the name of faith.

Josef Linnhoff

‘At least they aren’t Shi‘a’: Christianity as a means of internal Muslim critique in the works of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab (d. 1792)

Josef Linnhoff a PhD student & Research Assistant in Islamic Studies at New College, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. His PhD thesis examines the range of Muslim interpretations of the doctrine of shirk (idolatry/polytheism) in classical & modern Islamic political thought.

Joseph Lumbardjosephlumbard1

Rereading Qur’an Condemnations

Joseph Lumbard, assistant professor of classical Islam, researches Islamic intellectual traditions with an emphasis on Sufism and Islamic philosophy. He is the editor of “Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition,” a collection of essays that examines the religious, political and historical factors that have led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Lumbard teaches in the Dept. of Arabic Studies and Translation at the American University of Sharjah, and is currently researching the development of Sufi theories of love in the early Islamic period and their influence on the Persian Sufi tradition. He completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in 2003.

Daniel Madigan18687

What is Islam? What is Christianity? Applying Shahab Ahmed’s Hermeneutics Across Boundaries

Daniel Madigan S.J. is an Australian Jesuit priest who joined Georgetown’s Department of Theology in 2008, where he teaches courses on Islam and on Muslim-Christian Relations. He is also a Senior Fellow of The Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Australian Catholic University. Before moving to Georgetown he taught in Rome (2000-7), where he was was the founder and director (2002-7) of the Institute for the Study of Religions and Cultures at the Pontifical Gregorian University. His main fields of teaching and research are Qur’anic Studies, Interreligious Dialogue (particularly Muslim-Christian relations) and Comparative Theology.

Tarek MitriPhoto mitri

Reflections on Christian-Muslim relations and dialogue in the Arab world

Dr Tarek Mitri is the Director of the Fares Institute on Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. He was the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Libya from 2012 – 2014. From 2005 to 2011, he served in four successive Lebanese governments as Minister of Environment, Administrative Reform, Culture, Information and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has previously held various positions in ecumenical organizations in the areas of Christian-Muslim relations and intercultural and interreligious dialogue. He taught at the Université Saint Joseph, Balamand University, the University of Geneva, Amsterdam Free University, Harvard University and the American University of Beirut.

He chairs the Boards of Nicolas Sursock Museum and the Institute of Palestine Studies. He is a member of the Strategic Council of Saint Joseph University and of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. He has authored a number of books and articles on contemporary Arab issues, religion and politics, and interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

Abdul Rahman Mustafa

Meaning and Interpretation: Reading traditional Islamic thought in light of philosophy of language

Abdul Rahman Mustafa is a post-doctoral fellow with the Christian-Muslim Studies Network at the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity.

Serafettin Pektas 

Imago Raḥmān: Christian-Muslim Convergence on Modern Theological Anthropology

Şerafettin Pektas is currently a post-doc researcher at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) and holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from KU Leuven, both in Belgium. His dissertation examined the views of Wilfred C. Smith (Canadian scholar of religion) and Said Nursi (Turkish-Kurdish Muslim scholar and the initiator of the Nur Movement) on faith and modernity. After he received his Master’s degree in Sociology from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, he stayed for two years in Rome where he made research on interfaith dialogue and comparative theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was here awarded research grant by the pontifical Nostra Aetate Foundation. Since 2008, he has been actively involved in various interfaith and intercultural initiatives in Brussels. He was the former director of Intercultural Dialogue Platform, a Brussels-based Muslim NGO that was originally created to promote Muslim-Christian understanding and dialogue. His research interests include comparative theology, theological anthropology, Western Islamic thinking, radicalization and Muslims in Europe.

Mitri Raheb

Christian-Muslim Solidarity and the Question of Jerusalem

Rev Dr Mitri Raheb is the Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. The most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, Dr. Raheb is the author of 16 books including: Das Reformatorische Erbe unter den PalaestinensernI am a Palestinian ChristianBethlehem Besieged, Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes. His books and numerous articles have been translated so far into eleven languages. A social entrepreneur, Rev. Raheb have founded several NGO‟s including Dar annadwa Cultural and Conference Center, Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, in addition to several other civic initiatives on national, regional, and international levels.

Joshua Ralston

al-Furqān and the Question of Commonalitiesralston

Joshua Ralston is Lecturer in Muslim-Christian Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. Prior to moving to Scotland, he was Assistant Professor of Theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. His primary work is concerned with theological, ethical, legal-political, and scriptural encounters between Christians and Muslims across the centuries with a particular focus on Protestant Christianity and Sunni Islam.  He approaches these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on political theology, Islamic Studies, Christian theology, critical theory, migration studies, and comparative theology.

Nevin Reda

Christian-Muslim Encounter and the Challenges of Translation: Reframing “Islam” in Christian Theological Schools

Nevin Reda received her PhD from the University of Toronto, where she also completed a Masters in Biblical Hebrew Language and Literature.  Her main area of research is the Qur’an, often enriched with interdisciplinary perspectives from Biblical studies, literary theory and women’s studies.  She has a particular interest in Surat al-Baqara, on which she wrote her PhD dissertation, and in Islamic legal theory and political theologies, occasionally publishing her research in both Arabic and English.   She has also co-lead several interfaith dialogue seminars over the past eight years.


Mona Siddiqui

Mona Siddiqui is Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies and Assistant Principal Religion and Society. She is well known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. Prior to this she worked at Glasgow University directing the Centre for the Study of Islam. Her research areas are primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. Amongst her most recent publications are 50 Ideas in Islam; Muslim Christian Encounters; Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s Name; My Way: A Muslim Woman’s Journey; Christians, Muslims and Jesus; and The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology.

Klaus Von Stosch608

Reframing Qur’anic Prophetology in Dialogue with Modern Christology

Klaus von Stosch is Professor of Systematic Theology and Chairman of the Centre for Comparative Theology and Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn/ Germany. His areas of research include comparative theology, faith and reason, the problem of evil, and Christian theology in response to Islam, especially Christology and theology of the Trinity. Recent publications include Komparative Theologie als Wegweiser in der Welt der Religionen, Paderborn: Schöningh 2012 (Beiträge zur Komparativen Theologie 6);  Herausforderung Islam. Christliche Annäherungen. Second revised edition, Paderborn: Schöningh 2017; Trinität, Paderborn: UTB 2017 (Grundwissen Theologie).

Nayla Tabbara Nayla Tabbara 2017

Spiritual solidarity as a new paradigm for interreligious relations

Dr. Nayla Tabbara is Director of the Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management at Adyan Foundation. She holds a PhD in Science of Religions from Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne-Paris) and Saint Joseph University (Beirut) and a professorship in Religious and Islamic Studies. She has published in the fields of Islamic theology of other religions, Education on interreligious and intercultural diversity, Qur’anic exegesis and Sufism develops curricula for multifaith education and inclusive citizenship. Her recent publications include co-authorship of “Divine Hospitality: A Christian-Muslim Conversation”; “What about the other: a question for intercultural education in the 21st century”; “Islamic Studies in the Contemporary world: a cross cultural challenge”; and  “Religions and Public Affairs”, vol. 2 for the Dar al Farabi/Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management.

Muna Tatari

Divine Action: An Islamic Approach in Conversation with Process Theology

Neven Vukic

Orthodox Christianity and Islam in the Aftermath of the Council of Crete

Peter Walker

On the Vision of God: Nicholas of Cusa’ Interreligious Imagination

Peter Walker is Acting Director of the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University, Canberra. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Bachelor of Theology (Hons), is completing a PhD on Nicholas of Cusa and Christian theology of religions, and has recently been appointed assistant editor of the International Journal of Public Theology. An ordained Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, Peter’s previous appointments have included Research Associate at Macquarie University, Visiting Fellow at Dunmore Lang College, Chairman of United Theological College, and President of the Australian Capital Territory Council of Churches.

Deanna Womack

Deanna Ferree Womack is Assistant Professor of History of Religions and Multifaith relations at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the director of the Leadership and Multifaith Program (LAMP), a collaboration between Candler and Georgia Tech. Her teaching and scholarship combine commitments to Christian-Muslim dialogue and American-Arab relations. Her forthcoming book from Edinburgh University Press, Protestants, Gender and the Arab Renaissance in Late Ottoman Syria, explores encounters between American missionaries and Arab residents of Ottoman Syria in the pre-World War I period. Womack earned her PhD at Princeton Theological Seminary and is a minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Taraneh Wilkinson 

The Creative Space of Dialectics: Turkish Muslim Philosophical Theology

Taraneh R. Wilkinson is a lecturer in the Georgetown University Department of Theology. She recently obtained her Ph.D. in Religious Pluralism from the same institution. She specializes in Muslim Turkish Theology and cultivates an ongoing interest in comparative philosophical theology and comparative mysticism, particularly on matters of the infinite.

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