Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sacred Misinterpretation | Accad 2019

Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching across the Christian-Muslim Divide, by Martin Accad (Eerdmans 2019). From Amazon:

Promotes gracious interfaith dialogue on sensitive theological issues

Theological issues are crucial to how Christians and Muslims understand and perceive each other. In Sacred Misinterpretation Martin Accad guides readers through key theological questions that fuel conflict and misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians. A sure-footed guide, he weaves personal stories together with deep discussion of theological beliefs.

Accad identifies trends, recognizes historical realities, and brings to light significant points of contention that often lead to break-down in Christian-Muslim dialogue. He also outlines positive and creative trends that could lead to a more hopeful future. Fairly and seriously presenting both Muslim theology and a Muslim interpretation of Christian theology, Sacred Misinterpretation is an essential guide for fostering dialogue and understanding among readers from both faiths.

Full Table of Contents for the First Three and Final Chapters:

  1. Introduction
    1. Christian-Muslim Interaction
      1. The Context of My Writing
      2. What Does Theology Have to Do with Conflict and War?
    2. The Kerygmatic Approach to Christian-Muslim Interaction
    3. The Islamic Phenomenon
      1. Islam’s Prophet in the Kerygmatic Approach
      2. The Qurʾan in the Kerygmatic Approach
      3. Muslims in the Kerygmatic Approach
      4. Purpose of Relationship with Islam and Muslims
      5. Methods Used in the Kerygmatic Approach to Islam and Muslims
      6. Expectable Outcomes
      7. A Legitimate Insider’s Knowledge of Islam
    4. The Suprareligious Approach and the “Two-Buildings” Analogy
    5. A Book Respectful Enough of Islam for Muslims to Read It
    6. A Biblical Theme: God’s Agenda
      1. Understanding the Importance of Mercy
      2. Adopting an Attitude of Humility
      3. Seeking Ways to Act Justly
      4. Mercy, Humility, and Justice in the Context of Lebanon
      5. Political Conflict and the Role of Religious Dialogue
  2. ​Hermeneutics and Dialogue
    1. Christian Misrepresentation: Reading Christian Thinking into the Qurʾan
    2. Christian Misrepresentation: Giving Primary Attention to Literary Context
    3. Muslim Misrepresentation: Reading the Bible Muhammado-centrically
    4. Comparative Observations on Textual Interpretation
    5. The Legitimate Interpretation of the Qurʾan
      1. Language and Grammar
      2. Occasions of the Revelation
      3. Interpretation Proper
      4. Stories of the Prophets and the Biography of Muhammad
      5. Identification of the Obscure
      6. The Theory of Abrogation
      7. An Argument against the Claim of Medinan Abrogation
      8. Tradition versus Opinion
    6. Legitimate Christian Interpretation of the Qurʾan
      1. The Importance of Context
      2. Interpretation and the Emergence of Doctrine
      3. Historical Context
    7. Sacred Misinterpretation and the Emergence of Religious Monologue
    8. Establishing a Hermeneutical Method for Christian-Muslim Theological Dialogue
      1. The Promise of Hermeneutics in Christian-Muslim Dialogue
      2. Study the Internal Muslim Understanding
      3. Study the Historical Dialogue
      4. Identify Historical Deadlocks
      5. Search for Hermeneutical Keys to Break the Deadlock
    9. Globalizing the Theological Conversation
    10. Closing Considerations: Continuity Rather than Discontinuity
  3. ​God in Christian-Muslim Dialogue
    1. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
      1. Timothy George
      2. Miroslav Volf
      3. Imad Shehadeh
      4. Summarizing Reflection
    2. Islam and the One God
      1. The Qurʾan’s Vindication of Jesus
      2. “I Would Never Say What Is Not Rightfully Mine to Say!”
      3. Jesus Affirmed That “There Is No God But God”
      4. Jesus Affirmed and Practiced the Worship of God Alone
    3. God in Islam
      1. Islam’s Doctrine of Absolute Monotheism
      2. The Qurʾan’s Rebuttal of the Christian View of God
      3. The Qurʾan’s Rebuttal of Christ’s Divinity
      4. Summarizing the Metadialogue on the Doctrine of God
      5. Hermeneutical Keys in Building Bridges beyond Conflict
      6. Using Deadlocks as Assets
      7. Concluding Thoughts
      8. Further Reading and Research
  4. Who Jesus Is Not according to Muslims
  5. Who Jesus Is according to Muslims
  6. Muslim Strategies in Approaching the Bible
  7. Taḥrīf and the Corruption of Scripture
  8. Islam’s Muhammado-Centric Reading of the Bible
  9. Muhammad as Paraclete
  10. ​Beyond Conflict
    1. Legitimate Ways for Christians to View Islam
    2. A Simple Definition of Islam
      1. Two Stages of Muhammad’s Life
      2. The Meccan and Medinan Qurʾans
      3. Meccan and Medinan Muslims Historically and Today
    3. Muhammad and Early Islamic History as Paradigm
    4. A Case for Meccan Islam
    5. Muhammad in the Context of Dialogue
      1. Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad
      2. The Two-Times Theory
    6. The Status of Muhammad for a Christian
      1. Muhammad—a Bridge to Christ?
      2. A Call to Awakening for People of Faith in the Twenty-First Century
      3. Imagining a New Future
      4. A Call to Social Action
      5. A Call to Political Activism, Peacebuilding, and Courage
      6. A Call to Worship

In the introduction, Accad says that “the general Christian reader who does not wish to engage with the more technical and historical sections of the seven core chapters (3-9) can still benefit from the book by reading the opening and closing pages of each chapter.”

This important book provides a hermeneutically robust, historical-theological understanding of Islam. Highly recommended.