"Recent disputes like the "ground zero" mosque controversy have their roots in historical conflicts, according to Yale professor and author Volf (Exclusion and Embrace). The author, who grew up in what was then Yugoslavia, explains that Christians' ability to live in community with Muslims depends on their answer to one question: is the God of the Qur'an the same as the God of the Bible? With a conversational tone and the backing of both sacred texts, the author argues that while beliefs about God may differ, the object of worship for both religions is the same (or at least the objects are "sufficiently similar"). Such "claims are spicy," but come after careful consideration. Volf provides a thorough examination of theology to show the complexity of what seems a simple question of terminology. Perhaps the most stirring and involved debate concerns the comparison of the Christian Trinity to Allah. On such a heated topic, readers will appreciate Volf's sense of humor and optimism. Though the text may not convince those who fear religious pluralism, his timely call for Christian love toward Muslims should at least lead to further dialogue, if not increased social cooperation. This is an important book." (Mar.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"ALLAH offers a constructive vision for a new pluralism. The claim that Muslims and Christians worship the same God yet have different understandings of that one God is an expression of just such pluralism. If a "clash of civilizations" is good for fighting each other, this new pluralism is good for building a common future together. Volf is ideally suited to reach a large, motivated audience for this book. He is leading expert about religion and conflict and is the chief spokesperson for The Common Word, the world's leading interfaith dialogue initiative between Christians and Muslims that has been unprecedented in its importance, scope and global traction. An ongoing project, The Common Word has spawned conferences at leading institutions around the world, a documentary film, specialty books, and a robust online community"
Three and a half billion people--the majority of the world's population--profess Christianity or Islam. Renowned scholar Miroslav Volf's controversial proposal is that Muslims and Christians do worship the same God--the only God. As Volf reveals, warriors in the "clash of civilizations" have used "religions"--each with its own god and worn as a badge of identity--to divide and oppose, failing to recognize the one God whom Muslims and Christians understand in partly different ways.
Writing from a Christian perspective, and in dialogue with leading Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world, Volf reveals surprising points of intersection and overlap between these two faith traditions:
- What the Qur'an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today.
- A person can be both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice.
- How two faiths, worshipping the same God, can work toward the common good under a single government.
Volf explains the hidden agendas behind today's news stories as he thoughtfully considers the words of religious leaders and parses the crucial passages from the Bible and the Qur'an that continue to ignite passion. "Allah" offers a constructive way forward by reversing the "our God vs. their God" premise that destroys bridges between neighbors and nations, magnifies fears, and creates strife.
Miroslav Volf is the founding director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture."One of the most celebrated theologians of our time." (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)