Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Open Letter and call from Muslim Religious Leaders to...

The Times London has a very interesting article about an open letter speculated to be addressed to the Pope, the Patriarch and the Archbishop as well as the rest of Christendom's clerical leadership is to be released today whose signatories span the Muslim world, geographically, theologically and politically. The Times supposes that:

It is expected to be followed by a joint conference between Muslim and Christian world leaders at on "neutral" ground, such as at a university in America.

I'm reminded of the Papal Visit to South Carolina and the Ecumenical meeting held on our Historic Horseshoe - wouldn't it be interesting if the Inter religious dialogue which is speculated happened here. (Just my musing, I assure you)

Ruth Gledhill offers an interesting perspective in her blog from the Bishop of Rochester about the nature of the letter and it's implicit demand from Muslims that Christian's accept their understanding of the Unity of God to proceed with dialogue. Here's a meaty snipit from her post:

'But what I would stress is that dialogue between partners must be conducted in the integrity of each faith. One partner cannot dictate the terms on which dialogue must be conducted. This document seems to be on the verge of doing that.' He said the document appeared to be calling for dialogue on the basis of Muslim belief in the unity of God. Dr Nazir-Ali said: 'If that were the case, we would all be Muslim. I would say, we need mutual witness and learning as well as withess to faith. I am quite happy for Muslims to witness to me. But it is not a one-way street.'

He criticised parts of the document, which goes in great detail into Koranic passages which emphasise the unity of God. Dr Nazir-Ali said: 'One thing the document implies is that Christians have compromised their monotheism. It does this by implication, with all the business of saying we must agree that God is only none and not associated with partners, that we must not take others for Lord. It refers to various verses in the Koran which accuse Christians of taking
Jesus and others as their Lord besides Allah.'

The verse the entire letter is based on, he said, is Koran 3:64.

I've taken the task of reading the previous letter sent by Muslim Leaders to Pope Benedict after the Regensburg lecture, and found it reminiscent of the debate between Averroes and Aquinas, except in this instance it was 38 Muslim leaders formulating a response to One Christian Theologian.

The Times article has posted a PDF version of the Letter (29 pgs). I've read it and opine here. And most recently here, and here.

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