During a time of global conflict, the theological question of whether Muslims, Jews, and Christians worship the same God carries political baggage. Is the God of ISIS the same as the God of Israel? Do Sunni Muslims and Protestant Christians pray to the same Creator and Sustainer of the universe? The Counterpoints series presents a comparison and critique of scholarly views on topics important to Christians that are both fair-minded and respectful of the biblical text. Each volume is a one-stop reference that allows readers to evaluate the different positions on a specific issue and form their own, educated opinion.Dr. Joseph Cumming contributes the Ministry Reflection: “Focus on Common Ground in Christian-Muslim Relationships”
Fifteen essays originally presented at a conference at Georgetown University in 2012. The essays address both the theoretical and practical aspects of implementing the radical love of the Jesus in some of the most challenging contemporary situations.
Fifteen preeminent Christian scholars of Islam present their latest research and reflections. The book is organized around three themes: encouraging friendly conversation, Christian scholarship, and Christian witness. Published in honor of J. Dudley Woodberry, it is more than a collection of essays by friends and colleagues. It offers a seldom-available synopsis of the theories of contemporary leading Christian academicians whose work is currently influencing a wide range of Christian institutions, agencies, churches, and individuals.
The Christian doctrine of divine Triunity is one of the most intractable and controversial issues in Muslim-Christian relations, prompting Muslims and Christians alike either to resort to hostile polemics or to “agree to disagree” – despairing of any common ground. The polemics not only include warnings of eternal punishment, but also act as a driver of acts of mass violence. Thus any study that promotes irenic mutual understanding – without ignoring genuine, irreducible differences – should be welcome.
When Muslim and Christian scholars met in 2001 in Samsun, Turkey for a symposium on inter-religious dialogue as a contribution to world peace, little did they know that September 11th was less than three months away. The events of that tragic day underline the urgency of such dialogue. As conflicts surfaced in Afghanistan, Palestine/Israel, Kashmir, Pakistan, Chechnya, and Iraq, the need to understand the underlying issues of the conflict became evident. The papers found in found in Muslim and Christian Reflections on Peace explore how people of diverse faiths can communicate, dispite discord, on issues of truth and justice. These Christian and Muslim reflections from the symposium in Turkey, which straddles East and West, are an attempt to explore some of these issues.
In late 2007 Muslim leaders from around the world together issued in the pages of The New York Times an open letter to Christian leaders inviting cooperation as a step toward peace. That letter, “A Common Word between Us and You,” acknowledged real differences between the two faiths but nonetheless contended that “righteousness and good works” should be the only areas in which they compete. The 138 signatories included over a dozen grand muftis, an ayatollah, and a Jordanian prince, and the document was widely considered a groundbreaking step toward reconciliation between Islam and Christianity — two major religions with a great deal in common.
A selection of books I authored or co-edited, or to which I contributed chapters