Kresta in the Afternoon – October 10, 2018 – Hour 1

+  Can Understanding Islam Lead to a Deeper Appreciation of Catholicism? (full hour)

  • Description: Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Why is that? What are the differences between Islam and Christianity? Why does this matter? These questions are important for Modern Christians to understand. We talk with David Pinault.
  • Segment Guests:
    • David Pinault
      David Pinault is the author of The Crucifix on Mecca's Front Porch and Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, where he directs the Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program.
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    • The Crucifix on Mecca’s Front Porch: A Christian’s Companion for the Study of Islam

      This book on Islam has an unusual perspective. It argues that a critically minded examination of Islam can help Christians achieve a deeper appreciation of the unique truths of their own faith. It draws on the author's personal experiences living in Islamic countries and his fieldwork with persecuted Christian-minority communities, especially in Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Indonesia. It includes the author's own original translations of Islamic texts in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, as well as primary-source materials in Latin that were written by Christian participants in the Crusades. The author focuses on Muslim interactions with the Christian tradition. He examines and takes issue with the misguided approach of Christians like Hans Küng and Muslims like Mustafa Akyol, who in the interests of Christian-Muslim rapprochement, minimize theological differences between the two faiths, especially in the area of Christology. Such attempts at rapprochement, he writes, do a profound disservice to both religions. Illustrating the Muslim view of Christ with Islamic polemical texts from the eleventh to the twenty-first centuries, the author draws on Hans Urs von Balthasar, and other theologians of kenotic Christology, to show how Islamic condemnations of divine "weakness" and "neediness" can deepen our appreciation of what is most uniquely Christian in our vision of Jesus, as God-made-man, who voluntarily experiences weakness, suffering, and death in solidarity with all human beings. A book that's both timely and urgently needed, The Crucifix on Mecca's Front Porch invites readers to reflect on the stark differences between Christianity and Islam and come to a fresh appreciation of the Christian faith. (learn more)

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