Thursday, May 26, 2016

Muslim-Christian Relations in Times of Fear -- Fuller Dialogues

Here in the United States we hear a lot about the threat of Islam to the West, especially the United States. Islamaphobia is driving at least parts of the current political rhetoric, such that some candidates (and not just Donald Trump) are making use of it for their own political purposes. The fact is that Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, with nearly 4 billion adherents. The two religions often abut each other, and even overlap territory. Right now in the Middle East and Africa and elsewhere there is great tension and fear. The question is why and what does religion have to do with it? To answer such questions we need to be in conversation. I was delighted to come across the video below produced by my alma mater Fuller Theological Seminary. There are several videos available, but the one I picked to watch featured Jihad Turk, the current President of Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School, an Islamic seminary situated at Claremont School of Theology in Southern California. In this presentation at Fuller, Jihad Turk speaks about the challenges to relations between the two faith communities in times of political instability -- his preferred title for his talk. Such are the times we live in. I want to invite you to watch and consider his message that much of the fear being generated isn't rooted in religion but other factors. We may have differing theologies and visions at certain points, but there other points where we converge. With that in mind we pursue the conversation.  I should note that in a couple of weeks my family and I will be visiting Claremont where my son will be checking out their M.A. program in Christian-Muslim relations.   With that I invite you to watch and comment. 

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