This is the first post on ‘What We’re Reading’, a quick survey of academic and other reads submitted by students and scholars associated with the Christian-Muslim Studies Network. Not all titles suit every bookshelf, but we hope to offer a sense of what is available within the growing field of Christian-Muslim Studies. The following are recent, self-contained offerings on religion, politics, and whatever comes with them.
1) Religions for Peace by Francis Arinze (2002)
Context is always essential, but this book’s release date in early 2002 should not be overlooked. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze explores war and peace from the perspective of a checkered past and hopeful future.
2) Common Ground: Islam, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism by Paul C. Heck (2009)
This book originated in a lecture series delivered the same year as the ‘A Common Word’ initiative for Christian-Muslim dialogue. In the resulting study of religious pluralism, Professor Paul Heck of Georgetown University explores questions such as, ‘Is Islam more or less democratic than Christianity?’ and ‘Does the Qur’an belong in the Bible?’
3) The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque by Sidney H. Griffith (2010)
Prof Sidney Griffith, who teaches at the Catholic University of America, undertakes a historical study of the lives, theology, and scholarship of centuries of Christians living under Islamic rule in the Middle East. What at first seems a strictly historical read poses important perspectives for the questions of the 21st century.
4) Christians, Muslims, and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui (2014)
Our own Professor Mona Siddiqui from the University of Edinburgh examines the ebb and flow in thinking between Islam and Jesus. She reflects on the cross and, alongside Christian colleagues, marks a path for Muslim and Christian dialogue on Jesus.
5) Jesus: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Bauckham &
Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown (2011)
The Oxford series of ‘Very Short Introductions’ range from Agriculture to Voltaire, offering brief guides to the uninitiated or a refresher course for wider reading. These volumes might be helpful to those whose knowledge of the Gospels, the Qur’an, or the surrounding literature could use a boost.