Contemporary Issues in Muslim-Christian Dialogue

22nd February - 14th April 2021

Course leader:  Dr Ida Glaser

with Motaz Al-Thaher

Teachers will include:  Dr David Coffey (CMCS Houston), Dr Richard McCallum (CMCS Oxford)

Special lecturers and resource people:   Dr Basma Abdelgafar (Maqasid Institute), Dr Rana Abumounes (CMCS Oxford), Dr Georgina Jardim (CMCS Oxford),  Anar Amin (Ismaili Tariqa and religious Education Board), Dr Charles Ramsey (Baylor University), Dr Martin Whittingham (CMCS Oxford).

This course will have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays 0800-1000 Houston time, from Feb 22nd to Mar 29th.   It will finish with two seasonal dialogue sessions:   Wednesday 7th April on 'Easter' and Wednesday April 14th on 'Ramadan'. 

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.

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

 

CMCS Houston still has some full and half-scholarships available for MUSLIM STUDENTS AND HOSUTON-BASED STUDENTS.  To apply for a scholarship, email a letter of application together with your c.v. and contact details of two referees to ida@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 Spring 2021 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

  • Family Dynamics

  • Water Resources

  • Power and politics

  • War and peace

  • Mission and Da'wah

  • Pressure and prejudice

Concluding dialogues:  Easter and Ramadan