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Contemporary Issues in Muslim-Christian Dialogue

Spring 2024

Wednesdays February 7th - May 15th

Course leaders:  Dr Ida Glaser and Motaz Al-Thaher

Speakers and facilitators include:  Dr David Coffey, Dr Mun'im Sirry, Dr Yahya Sabbaghchi, Dr Matthew Minerd, Dr Haris Dundar

This course will have classes on Wednesdays 8:00 am-10:00 am Houston time.

Students will also be required to attend weekly group sessions, which may be held face-to-face or online.  Each group will research and present a contemporary practical dialogue topic during the second part of the course.

Students who wish to obtain CMCS Houston credit for this course are required to complete the first four modules of our 'Research and Writing for Muslim & Christian Studies' prior to the start of the course.   This course may be begun at any time - students are advised to begin as soon as possible.

The course cost is $400, reduced to $150 for auditing and majority world students. 

 

CMCS Houston has full and half-scholarships available.  To apply for a scholarship, email a letter of application together with your c.v. and contact details of two referees to office@cmcshouston.org

A 3 credit-hour course which can be taught over 5, 7 or 10 weeks.

There are several questions which have been regularly addressed in discussions between Muslims and Christians ever since the seventh century. Recent times have seen more 'frequently asked questions' added to the list.   This course will take a historical, theological and practical approach to exploring  issues past and present.

HISTORICALLY, how have people dealt with the issues in the past?  How have discussions developed?  And why have fresh issues arisen in today's world?

THEOLOGICALLY, how can we understand the issues?    What are the similarities and differences in Muslim and Christian views of God and of humanity which give rise to the issues?  Are there theological approaches which can help to resolve tensions?

PRACTICALLY, how might Muslims and Christians living together in today's world deal with the issues in constructive ways?   How does all this relate to people who are neither Muslim nor Christian?

Part 1 deals with theological issues, and Part 2 with practical issues.   The topics covered can be adjusted according to the interests of the particular students in any class.

This class will be suitable for accreditation at master's or final year undergraduate level. It will offer 3 credit hours (40-45 hours of class or recorded online learning, with approx 90 hours of additional study and writing expected from each student). Preference will be given to students who have completed accredited modules/units of study (or the equivalent) in at least two of the following areas:  History, Islamic Studies, Christian Theology, Islamic History, History of Christianity, Literature.

Advice to future students: please take full advantage of the opportunity to read the verses and articles ahead of time. The understanding from the Pre-readings that you get, greatly help the key messages that the professors try to make in their weekly sessions. Do your part. Be engaged, fully participate, ask all the questions that you can whether they are foundational or higher order ones. This is how you will grow and learn.  Attend the weekly seminars that are scheduled as it will help you to gain better insight on why this nuanced understanding of the prophets exist, etc. The professors put in all the hard work and truly support you throughout the ten weeks. Give the same respect and participation back to them.     

Anar Amin, student on Qur'an and Bible 1

Program for the course:

 

Introduction: Methods, models and issues

Part 1:  Theological issues

  • God, Tawhid and Trinity

  • Human nature

  • Jesus

  • Muhammad

  • Scripture and authority

  • How do we decide what to do?

Part 2:  Practical Issues

  • Education

  • Refugees

  • Environment

  • Power and Politics

  • Holy Land

  • Family Dynamics

  • Concluding dialogues:  Easter and Ramadan

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