Monotheism and Its Complexities

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215 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626165830 (1626165831)

215 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626165847 (162616584X)

ISBN: 9781626165854

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June 2018


Table of Contents

Monotheism and Its Complexities
Christian and Muslim Perspectives
Lucinda Mosher and David Marshall, Editors

Conventional wisdom would have it that believing in one God is straightforward; that Muslims are expert at monotheism, but that Christians complicate it, weaken it, or perhaps even abandon it altogether by speaking of the Trinity. In this book, Muslim and Christian scholars challenge that opinion. Examining together scripture texts and theological reflections from both traditions, they show that the oneness of God is taken as axiomatic in both, and also that affirming God's unity has raised complex theological questions for both. The two faiths are not identical, but what divides them is not the number of gods they believe in.

The latest volume of proceedings of The Building Bridges Seminar—a gathering of scholar-practitioners of Islam and Christianity that meets annually for the purpose of deep study of scripture and other texts carefully selected for their pertinence to the year's chosen theme—this book begins with a retrospective on the seminar's first fifteen years and concludes with an account of deliberations and discussions among participants, thereby providing insight into the model of vigorous and respectful dialogue that characterizes this initiative. 

Contributors include Richard Bauckham, Sidney Griffith, Christoph Schwöbel, Janet Soskice, Asma Afsaruddin, Maria Dakake, Martin Nguyen, and Sajjad Rizvi. To encourage further dialogical study, the volume includes those scripture passages and other texts on which their essays comment. A unique resource for scholars, students, and professors of Christianity and Islam.

Lucinda Mosher is Assistant Academic Director of the Building Bridges Seminar; Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies, Hartford Seminary; and Center for Anglican Communion Studies Fellow in World Anglicanism, Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia.

David Marshall is Academic Director of the Building Bridges Seminar; Senior Research Fellow of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and Associate Professor in the Theology Faculty of Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

"Publications of the Building Bridges Seminars have been essential resources for my graduate seminars in Christian-Muslim studies. The proceedings of this 15th session on monotheism are especially rich. The scholars representing their traditions are forthright in addressing historical to present day controversies on the topic and their insights reveal the depth with which sacred texts proclaim and theological doctrines acknowledge God's Oneness. It is a volume that will be widely used for advanced courses in comparative theology."— Marianne Farina, CSC, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, CA

"This wonderful collection is a great resource to learn about Christian and Muslim attitudes toward monotheism. The different contributions underscore the importance of the Building Bridges Seminars on interfaith dialogue, which help us to better understand Christians and Muslims.

"—Amir Hussain, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Table of Contents
Participants in Building Bridges Seminar 2016

Preface: Fifteen Years of Construction: a retrospective on the first decade-and-a-half of the Building Bridges Seminar
Lucinda Mosher


Part I: The Oneness of God in the Biblical Witness

Complexities Surrounding God's Oneness in Biblical Monotheism
Richard Bauckham

Bridging the Chasm between the Divine and the Human: A Muslim Response to Richard Bauckham
Maria Massi Dakake

Texts from the Bible

Part II: The Oneness of God in the Qur' n and Had th

Monotheism in Islam
Asma Afsaruddin

The Complexity of Monotheism in Islam: A Christian Response to Asma Afsaruddin
Sidney Griffith

Texts from the Qur n and Had th

Part III: Grappling With the Unity Question in the Elaboration of Christian Doctrine

The One and the Three in Christian Worship and Doctrine: Engaging with the Question of Divine Unity in the Elaboration of Christian Doctrine
Christoph Schwöbel

Of Storytellers and Storytelling: A Muslim Response to Christoph Schwöbel
Martin Nguyen

Texts from the Christian Tradition

Part IV: Safeguarding Tawh d in the Elaboration of the Islamic Tradition

God is One but Unlike Any Other: Theological Argumentation on Tawh d in Islam
Sajjad Rizvi

Christianity, Trinity, and the One God: A Response to Sajjad Rizvi
Janet Soskice

Texts from the Islamic Tradition

Part V: Reflections

Dialogue in Northern Virginia: Reflections on Building Bridges Seminar 2016
Lucinda Mosher

About the Editors