Common Ground: Islam, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism by Paul L. Heck

By Paul L. Heck

Christian-Muslim interplay is a fact this present day in all corners of the globe. whereas many justly have fun the commonality of those traditions, major changes stay. If those religions can't be simply separated, will we view them via a unmarried yet refracted lens? this is often the method Paul L. Heck takes in universal Ground--to adopt a research of spiritual pluralism as a theological and social fact, and to strategy the 2 religions in tandem as a part of a broader dialogue at the nature of the great society. during this experience, ideals, whereas specified, transcend doctrines strange to a collection of believers. to contemplate Christianity and Islam jointly isn't really to check and distinction "species" of faith. extra profoundly, non secular pluralism bargains a prism wherein a society as a whole--secular and spiritual alike--can give some thought to its center ideals and values. Christianity and Islam should not "identities" that mark of specific groups, yet reference issues that each one can understand and speak about knowledgeably. This research of the way Islam and Christianity comprehend theology, ethics, and politics--specifically, democracy and human rights--offers a manner for that dialogue to maneuver ahead.

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One is cognizant only of one’s Lord, preoccupied with nothing save him. This produces detachment from worldly concerns—a state where nothing but God is the object of one’s longing, love, and attention. This is possible, Ghazali avowed, because the heart is the gateway to the heavenly realm, constituting the site where divine lights descend on humans. Through the heart, by its absorption in the name of God, one goes to God and then exists in God. It is the heart, then, that becomes imprinted by the heavenly realm (wa-ntaba‘a lahu naqsh al-malakut), and it is in the heart that the sanctity of divinity is manifest (wa-tajalla lahu quds al-lahut).

For example, the daily language of rural Moroccans includes frequent reference to the name of D OE S T HE QU R’ AN BE LO NG IN TH E B IB LE ? 12 Every action— eating, drinking, rising, sitting, sleeping, walking, plowing, harvesting, buying, and selling—is initiated by invoking the name of God (bismillah), signaling reliance on God, entrusting oneself and all that one does to God, consecrating one’s life in this world to God as goal of the next. Invoking the name of God also signals hope for God’s blessing on all one does: material prosperity, health, contentment, and goodness.

In Islam, prophecy is understood not as a call to perfection of temple sacrifice but to worship of the one God, who in the Qur’an as in the book of Isaiah is fully proclaimed not as deity of a particular people but as the one and only God, Creator and Lord of all, before whom submission is right and just, exclusively, apart from any other being, and who alone can sustain. In this sense, Jesus Christ in the Qur’an becomes a prophet like other prophets. He calls people to worship of the one God but does not offer his life on behalf of their sins, making it superfluous and unreasonable to envision him as priestly victim who fulfills the laws of ritual sacrifice.

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