Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Lucinda Mosher, Editor

A unique interreligious dialogue provides needed context for deeper understanding of interfaith relations, from ancient to modern times
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A unique interreligious dialogue provides needed context for deeper understanding of interfaith relations, from ancient to modern times

Freedom is far from straightforward as a topic of comparative theology. While it is often identified with modernity and even postmodernity, freedom has long been an important topic for reflection by both Christians and Muslims, discussed in both the Bible and the Quran. Each faith has a different way of engaging with the idea of freedom shaped by the political context of their beginnings. The New Testament emerged in a region under occupation by the Roman Empire, whereas the Quran was first received in tribal Arabia, a stateless environment with political freedom.

Freedom: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, edited by Lucinda Mosher, considers how Christian and Muslim faith communities have historically addressed many facets of freedom. The book presents essays, historical and scriptural texts, and reflections. Topics include God's freedom, human freedom to obey God, autonomy versus heteronomy, autonomy versus self-governance, freedom from incapacitating addiction and desire, hermeneutic or discursive freedom vis-à-vis scripture and tradition, religious and political freedom, and the relationship between personal conviction and public order.

The rich insights expressed in this unique interfaith discussion will benefit readers—from students and scholars, to clerics and community leaders, to politicians and policymakers—who will gain a deeper understanding of how these two communities define freedom, how it is treated in both religious and secular texts, and how to make sense of it in the context of our contemporary lives.

Table of Contents



Part One: Overviews

Who Gets to Decide what Freedom Is?

A Christian Perspective C. Rosalee Velloso Ewell

God-Given Freedom: An Islamic Point of View Tuba Işik

Freedom in the Contemporary Context: Trends in Intersections of Religion, Development, and Foreign Policy Azza Karam

Part Two: Islamic Texts on Freedom

Aspects of Human Freedom: Reflections on Selections from the Quran and Hadith Abdullah Saeed

The Quran and Hadith on Freedom: Selections for Dialogue

Freedom as a Theme in Islamic Thought: An Introduction to Selected Pre-Modern Texts Lejla Demiri

Pre-Modern Islamic Writings on Freedom: Selected for Dialogue

Modern Muslim Elucidations and Contentions on Freedom: An Introduction to Texts for Dialogue Martin Nguyen

Islamic Thought from the Modern Period: Texts for Dialogue About Freedom

Part Three: Christian Texts on Freedom

Freedom in the Hebrew Bible: From Exodus to Ezekiel, by way of Reba McEntire and Rage against the Machine Christopher M. Hays

Old Testament Texts About Freedom: Selections for Dialogue

The Motif of Freedom in New Testament Texts: An Introduction Susan Eastman

New Testament Texts About Freedom: Selections for Dialogue

Thematic Dimensions of Freedom: Christian Texts from the Classical Period Jonathan Chaplin

Christian Thought on Freedom in the Classical Period: Selected Texts for Dialogue

Freedom in Modern Christian Thought: Introduction to Selected Texts Peniel Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar

Christian Writings from the Modern Period: Selections for Dialogue About Freedom

Part Four: Reflections

Conversations on the Theme of Freedom: Reflections on the Building Bridges Seminar at le Château de Bossey Lucinda Mosher

Subject Index

Scriptural Citation Index

About the Editor


"This impressive volume offers an inviting and innovative approach to Christian-Muslim dialogue through the prism of freedom. The contributors tackle the complexities of Christian and Muslim understandings of divine and human freedom without dismissing the different perspectives between and within the two traditions."—Todd Green, professor of religion, Luther College


Jonathan Chaplin Lejla Demiri Susan Eastman Christopher M. Hays Tuba Işik Azza Karam Lucinda Mosher Martin Nguyen Peniel Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar Abdullah Saeed C. Rosalee Velloso Ewell

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Lucinda Mosher is the rapporteur of the Building Bridges Seminar and editor or coeditor eight previous volumes generated by that dialogue. Concurrently, she is Hartford Seminary’s Faculty Associate in Chaplaincy and Interreligious Studies and an affiliate of its Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. She holds a doctor of theology degree from the General Theological Seminary in New York City.

264 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-64712-127-3


264 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-64712-128-0


264 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-64712-129-7


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