The call to retrieval: Kenneth Cragg's Christian vocation to Islam

Lamb, Christopher A (1987). The call to retrieval: Kenneth Cragg's Christian vocation to Islam. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The career of the Anglican scholar and bishop, Kenneth Cragg, focusses attention on the Christian understanding of other faiths in general and of Islam in particular. Cragg has been a leading exponent of a particular missionary approach to Islam, emphasizing that there is a 'mission to Islam' as much as a mission to Muslims. To this end he interprets Islam as pointing in its deepest meaning towards Christianity, a course which has aroused both admiration and opposition among Christians and Muslims alike. I attempt to show that his theology is strongly influenced by distinctive Anglican traditions, and nourished by one particular Arab Christian source. Cragg, however, resists any easy classification, and faces the accusation of theological evasiveness as well as hermeneutic sleight of hand. His writings show a remarkable consistency over thirty years and point to possibilities for reconciliation between deeply rooted religious antagonisms. A further significance of Cragg is his awareness of contemporary secularity in its interaction with and impact upon religious belief. Here again his conviction that the deepest convictions of unbelief are at heart religious needs to be tested. The central question is whether he illegitimately 'christianises' Islam, and by extension, other faiths and ideologies. His keyword is 'retrieval', but there are attitudes and beliefs that cannot be retrieved, only abandoned. Few would quarrel with the ethics he advocates, but the question remains whether his theological method can be accepted as valid.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity


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