Edwin, Joseph Victor (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
In October 2007, 138 Muslim scholars signed a document entitled “A Common Word between Us and You” (ACW) and addressed it to 28 Christian leaders worldwide. ACW invited Christians to a common ground; the belief in one God to work for peace in the world along with Muslims. ACW makes a case for this common ground with scriptural, Qur’anic as well as Biblical, underpinnings. This structure raises two important theological issues in the context of Christian-Muslim relations: first, the use of the Bible in ACW and secondly the belief in the unity of God. The dissertation analyses and evaluates the contribution of this Muslim initiative to Christian-Muslim relations based on the following question: “What does ACW do to promote a new understanding between Christians and Muslims?” The study focuses on the above two theological issues that are central to ACW. The first chapter presents a discussion as to how these themes were treated by Muslim scholars in the early centuries of Islam. The second chapter considers how these same themes are treated in ACW with critical comments. The third chapter analyses how some selected responses from Christians evaluate this initiative. It shows that ACW sits well within the classical frame of Islamic thinking in its attitude towards the Bible and Christian belief in one God. What is noticeable is that, it avoids the polemics of the past and treats the biblical verses that it cites with respect and seriousness. By juxtaposing verses from the Bible and Qur’an it invites Christians and Muslims to live up to a common word.
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