Christmas in the Koran — how Maryam gave birth to Jesus under a date palm

Dec 10, 2017 by

by Sameer Rahim, Telegraph:

What can Islam teach us about Christianity – or Christianity about Islam? For some the question will be provocative. In Pakistan, Christians suffer appalling persecution. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has blown up churches and forced the ancient Chaldean population to flee Iraq. Just days after Donald Trump re-tweeted anti-Muslim propaganda, his travel ban was deemed lawful by the US Supreme Court. Even from a strictly theological perspective, the religions have real differences. The Koran calls on the “people of the book” to deny the divinity of Jesus. Dante tortures the Prophet Mohammed in Hell. No amount of Church of England-style inter-faith dialogue – polite chit-chat over tea and samosas – can bridge the chasm between the two faiths.

But perhaps that’s too pessimistic. In Germany they do inter-faith dialogue with greater rigour – and therefore respect. Two bold new books by Germans – one written by a professor of Catholic theology at Tübingen, the other by a prominent Muslim thinker from Cologne – show convincingly that the beliefs of Christians and Muslims are entwined in unexpected and profound ways.

Read here (£)

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