Muslim-Christian Dialogue on Jesus featuring Sunni, Ismaili, Catholic and Protestant Interpretations — Ismaili Gnosis com


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“I think that monotheistic religions, having a common reference to a single God, should and must dialogue. The three religions which Abraham inspired have many more common facets than those which divide them. Religion must be the means by which to affirm the ethical significance of existence, regardless of one’s profession of faith.”
– Imām Shāh Karīm al-Ḥusaynī Āgā Khān IV,

(Interview with Correre della Sera, Massimo Nava, October 22, 2001)

As the Easter Weekend approaches, it is an appropriate time for Christians and Muslims to read, reflect and understand their beliefs and views on the question of Jesus – his life, spiritual status, mission, and crucifixion – and explore both the difference and the commonality. Most interfaith dialogues between Christians and Muslims feature only the majority perspectives within each faith and neglect the views of Islam’s rich esoteric heritage – as manifest in Shī‘ī Ismā‘īlī Islam and Sufi Islam. In fact, an engagement between Christianity and the esoteric traditions of Islam can lead to a more fruitful and meaningful dialogue:

“It remains a question why discussions of the Islamic Jesus have not heretofore stressed the importance of the thought of these Ismā‘īlī scholars with regard to what is probably the great single obstacle in Muslim-Christian relations not to mention an extremely important feature of Muslim identity.”
(Todd Lawson, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an, 95)

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s College hosted “The Christology Symposium” – an academic forum featuring presentations on Jesus from Catholic, Protestant, Sunni Muslim and Ismā‘īlī Muslim perspectives followed by a panel discussion. The presentations consisted of the following: (…)


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