Dates/Times: November 10 (1-6pm) and November 11 (9am-5pm)
Location: In Person – Union Theological Seminary
Instructor: Dr. Mona Siddiqui
Registration Deadline: October 27, 2023
The rich theological history of Christians and Muslims has been one of both polemics and pluralism. This course focuses on the variety of theological themes and approaches which occupied Christians who wrote about Islam and Muslims who wrote on Christianity. The course will begin by looking at the earliest views of Eastern Christians who saw Islam mainly as a Christian heresy to medieval polemics in Latin Christianity as well as Muslim writings refuting Christian claims and creeds, namely the divinity of Jesus. The postcolonial encounters between the two faiths saw the emergence of different approaches which eventually resulted in a gradual shift towards more eirenic dialogue. Since 9/11 there has been a new impetus for mutual engagement and understanding in lay and scholarly settings. While fundamentalisms and evangelical ideologies on both sides still create political and social tensions, students will have a far more nuanced appreciation of why this particular history of the world’s 2 largest faiths still matters.
Dr. Mona Siddiqui
Professor Mona Siddiqui is an internationally recognized academic and broadcaster at the University of Edinburgh. She is Professor Islamic and Interreligious Studies as well as Assistant Principal for Religion and Society. Her research areas are primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. Amongst her most recent publications are, A Theology of Gratitude, CUP, 2022, Human Struggle: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, based on her 2016 Gifford lectures (CUP, 2021). She is currently working on her next monograph, Faith and Fidelity in Islamic Thought which will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2024. She has held research grants from The John Templeton Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation on Christian-Muslim studies. Her most recent grants are from the Issachar Fund on the theme of Gratitude in Christian and Islamic thought. She is currently a PI for a new grant with the Issachar Fund on the theme of Loyalty in Christian and Islamic thought. She has held visiting professorships at several Dutch and American universities. In 2014 she served as a Humanitas Professor at the University of Cambridge and since October 2021, she holds a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Hartford International University, Connecticut and a Visiting Professorhip at Union Theological Seminary, New York. In September 2022, she will be the Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professor in Studies on Contemporary Society at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where she is also currently Vice President International. She is an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and holds six honorary doctorates. In 2011, she was awarded an OBE for her interfaith work
Professor Siddiqui is an internationally sought-after public speaker on religion, ethics and public life. She is a regular commentator in the media, known especially for her appearances on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day as well as BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze. In April 2016, she was invited by the Home Office to lead an independent review of shari`a councils in the UK and the subsequent report was published by the Home Office in February 2018. In 2020, she became the first honorary speaker at the Royal Scottish Academy.