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Qur'an and Bible 2:  Issues and Interpretation

January 16th - April 5th 2023

Course leaders:  Dr Ida Glaser and Motaz Al-Thaher

This 3 credit hour course will have classes on Wednesdays at 0800-1000 Houston time.  Students will be expected to spend 4-6 hours per week in private study and group study.  The out-of-class work will be at least as important as the in-class work.   The main focus of most of the classes will be discussing the textual studies which students have done between classes.  Students taking this course for credit will also be required to take a short-answer quiz and to write a 4-5,000 word essay.

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

Students who wish to obtain CMCS Houston credit for this course are required to do selected modules from 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.


CMCS Houston has some 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 BY DECEMBER 15th 2022

Both Muslims and Christians face numerous challenges in interpreting their texts as they consider how to live in the contemporary world.  On contentious issues, there are as many disagreements within the faiths as their are between the faiths.

This course begins with less contentious issues and moves towards those that are more difficult.   Particular issues will be chosen according to the contexts of participating institutions and the interests of the students.


We begin by introducing a range of ways in which Christians interpret the Bible and in which Muslims interpret the Qur'an. (We will immediately recognise the important place of Hadith alongside the Qur'an). The interpretive methods will then be applied to the chosen issues.

In each case, students will be asked to consider the similarities and differences between the challenges facing Muslims and the challenges facing Christians.  There will also be opportunities to consider how Christians might interpret the Qur'an, how Muslims might interpret the Bible, and how the various interfaith and intrafaith discussions relate to wider public debate in different contexts.

This class will be suitable for accreditation at master's or final year undergraduate level. It will offer 3 credit hours (a total of at least 120 hours of study and writing expected from each credit student). 


The course is designed to follow Qur'an and Bible 1 (Torah). Students should have completed Qur'an and Bible 1 OR Contemporary Issues in Muslim & Christian Dialogue OR have studied both the Qur'an and the Bible to an equivalent level.

Typical Program (exact topics to be determined by student interest):

Topic 1:  Raising the questions

Topic 2:  Interpreting the Bible - Jesus and the law of Moses

Topic 3:  Interpreting the Qur'an - Muhammad and the development of shari'ah

Topic 4: Worship


Topic 5: What foods are permissible?

Topic 6: Modesty and dress

Topic 7: Science and faith

Topic 8: Interfaith relations

Topics 9 and 10:  Open for class choice

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