Apr 11, 2008

IIS Scholar Participates in a Discussion on ‘Islam, Christianity and other Faiths’

IIS Scholar Participates in a Discussion on ‘Islam, Christianity and other Faiths’
April 2008

Dr Reza Shah-KazemiDr Reza Shah-Kazemi, Research Associate at the IIS, participated in a discussion on ‘Islam, Christianity and other Faiths’. Hosted by the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter, the talk dealt with Muslim and Christian perspectives on the concept of salvation in other religions. Professor Gavin D’Costa, who teaches Religious Studies at Bristol and is a leading Catholic theologian and author, was the other speaker.

Drawing upon his book The Other in the Light of the One, Dr Shah-Kazemi presented a mystical viewpoint on the matter. With references to Sufi commentaries on the Quran, he spoke about the verses that can contribute to a positive evaluation of the other faith-communities and lead to a meaningful dialogue between believers of different faiths. He also explained how all the Semitic religions share a common mystical orientation.

Professor Gavin D’Costa presented the Roman Catholic Church’s view where other religions had a provisional value and transformative power that was believed to be derived from the grace of Christ. He further spoke about the special value of Islam and Judaism from the Catholic viewpoint. Following the talks, the two speakers commented upon each other’s approaches. Afterwards, the audience also joined the discussion through a question and answer session.

The debate was a joint venture between the IAIS and the Theology Department of the University of Exeter. It was held at the IAIS centre. The session was moderated by Dr Mark Wynn from the Theology Department.


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