Expanding the Qur'anic Bridge
Block, Corrie Jonn
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
This paper is in the process of being published.
The Christian-Muslim dialogue has exploded in recent decades into a cacophony of voices on history, politics, theology, and literary criticism, yet there remains little concentrated effort to preserve the Qur’anic voice in its original context, or highlight those voices from each side that employ the Qur’an as a builder of bridges rather than walls between Christianity and Islam. Herein is a survey and analysis of the Christian-Muslim dialogue during four centuries, highlighting those voices of ecumenical tone which have more often used the Qur’an for drawing the two faiths together rather than pushing them apart, and amplifying the voice of the Qur’an itself. This study begins with a survey and analysis of voices from the first three centuries of Islam, arranged thematically, exploring the tone of dialogue and the development of its key themes. The second section is a survey and anaylsis of Christian and Islamic voices in dialogue from the most recent century, comparing the two time periods and amplifying voices of ecumenical tone whose innovations and interpretations may without proper attention be missed by the academy. The entire study concentrates not only on the ecumenical tones of dialogicians, but focuses on the interpretation of the Qur’an, highlighting key verses in the conversation. This study also amplifies the voice of the Qur’an itself in its historical context, as a dialogical voice. This research finds that there is tremendous ecumenical ground between Christianity and Islam in the voices of their own scholars, extending from a period of declining ecumenism during the first three centuries of Islam, to a period of resurging ecumenism during the most recent century until now. This study also finds, highlighted among the ecumenical voices in the Christian-Muslim dialogue, that the Qur’an itself is possibly among the strongest of those voices.
Netton, Ian Richard
PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies