Humanity: Texts and Contexts

Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Michael Ipgrave and David Marshall, Editors
Afterword by Archbishop Rowan Williams

"Should be read by all who count themselves stewards of the Earth's most precious resources, as well as those interested in seeking reconciliation between Muslims and Christians."
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Humanity: Texts and Contexts is a record of the 2007 Singapore “Building Bridges” seminar, an annual dialogue between Muslim and Christian scholars cosponsored by Georgetown University and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This volume explores three central questions: What does it mean to be human? What is the significance of the diversity that is evident among human beings? And what are the challenges that humans face living within the natural world?

A distinguished group of scholars focuses on the theological responses to each of these questions, drawing on the wealth of material found in both Christian and Islamic scriptures. Part one lays out the three issues of human identity, difference, and guardianship. Part two explores scriptural texts side by side, pairing Christian and Islamic scholars who examine such themes as human dignity, human alienation, human destiny, humanity and gender, humanity and diversity, and humanity and the environment. In addition to contributions from an international cast of outstanding scholars, the book includes an afterword by Archbishop Rowan Williams.

Table of Contents

Humanity in Context
Michael Ipgrave

Part One: Human Identity, Difference, and Guardianship

1. Being Human

The Image of God, Human Dignity, and Vocation
Ng Kam Weng

Being Human in Islam
Mona Siddiqui

2. Living with Difference

Affinity, Inclusion, and Mission: Christian Resources for Living with Difference
Michael Ipgrave

Islam and Human Diversity: Vernacular Religion Confronts the Categories of Race and Culture
Vincent Cornell

3. Guardians of the Environment

Guardianship of the Environment: An Islamic Perspective in the Context of Religious Studies, Theology, and Sustainable Development
Azizan Baharuddin

Slayers or Stewards? Ecological Guardianship in the Christian Tradition
Michael Northcott

Part Two: Scriptural Texts on Being Human

4. Human Dignity

Genesis 1:26–31
Ellen Davis

Muhammad Abdel Haleem

5. Human Alienation

Genesis 3; Romans 7:15–25
Mona Siddiqui

2:36–39; Tā’ Hā’ 20:115–124
Daniel Madigan

6. Human Destiny

Isaiah 65:17–25; Revelation 21:1–8, 21:22–22:5
Roland Chia

al-Raḥmān 5
5:26–78; Al-Qiyāma 75:20–25
Seyed Amir Akrami

7. Humanity and Gender

Genesis 2:18–25, Ephesians 5:21–33
Tim Winter

al-Aḥzāb 33:35; al-Rūm 30:21; al-Nisā’ 4:34; al-Baqara 2:228
Jane Dammen McAuliffe

. Humanity and Diversity

Isaiah 2:1–5; Galatians 3:28–29; Revelation 7:9–10
John Prior

Hūd 1
1:118; al-Rūm 30:20–22; al-Fāṭir 35:27–28; al-Ḥujurāt 49:13
Osman Bakar

Humanity and the Environment

Jeremiah 5:20–25, 18:13–17; Romans 8:18–23
Michael Northcott

al-An‘ām 6:14
1–42; 6:38; al-Rūm 30:41; al-Naḥl 16:112
Mohamed Yunus Yasin

rword: Reflections on Humanity in Text and Context


"Should be read by all who count themselves stewards of the Earth's most precious resources, as well as those interested in seeking reconciliation between Muslims and Christians."—Missiology

"The clear language, the precision of the quotations and the qiality of the contributors make the book an important tool for those who are involved in scholarly research, as well as for those who are simply involved in daily life dialogue and try to create bridges among peoples, cultures and religious traditions in order to give to mankind new hopes for the future of the world."—Islamochristiana

"This latest volume from the leading international Christian-Muslim seminar in the English-speaking world is a fine contribution to contemporary thinking about an issue which affects all of us—ourselves. . . . This volume provides an excellent summary of contemporary Christian and Muslim contributions to the discussion of what it means to be human today, as well as giving a vivid sense of the ongoing discussions within, as well as between, the two communities."—Hugh Goddard, University of Edinburgh

"Some of the most important conversations taking place today are between Christians and Muslims. In this valuable volume, leading Muslim and Christian thinkers ponder both the commonalities and differences between Islam and Christianity on key issues of human identity, human diversity, and human stewardship. The result is a collection of profound and masterly analyses of some of the most fundamental issues that unite and divide the two largest religious communities in the world today."—Asma Afsaruddin, professor of Islamic studies, Indiana University, Bloomington


Muhammad Abdel Haleem Seyed Amir Akrami Azizan Baharuddin Osman Bakar Roland Chia Vincent Cornell Ellen Davis Michael Ipgrave Ng Kam Weng Daniel Madigan Jane Dammen McAuliffe Michael Northcott John Prior Mona Siddiqui Rowan Williams Timothy Winter Mohamed Yunus Yasin

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

The Venerable Dr. Michael Ipgrave is the Archdeacon of Southwark, Church of England.

The Reverend Dr. David Marshall is the academic director of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Building Bridges seminar and a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

176 pp., 6 x 9

Jan 2011

176 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-716-0
Jan 2011

176 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-759-7
Jan 2011

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