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SEMINAR RECORDINGS 2012

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When possible and with the permission of the speaker, the audio recordings of CMCS work-in-progress seminars are made available for streaming and download.
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If you download the audio file to your computer, please do not alter, edit or reproduce the recording in any way without getting the expressed prior consent of CMCS.
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DISCLAIMER:  Any opinions expressed in these recordings do not necessarily represent those of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies.

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CMCS seminars provide a platform for comment and debate on the Muslim-Christian interface
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AUTUMN TERM

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20th November, 2012
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How far would St Ephrem the Syrian recognise Moses in the Qur’an?

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St. Ephrem the Syrian

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Speaker:  Dr. Elena Narinskaya, Junior Research Fellow, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies
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 Ephrem the Syrian, the fourth century theologian and poet, is well known for his commentaries on the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. The purpose of this study is to establish a dialogue between the exegetical writings of this Christian Old Testament commentator and the narrative about Moses as presented in the Qur’an.

It has been established that Ephrem in his Old Testament exegesis was heavily relying on the Jewish tradition of biblical exegesis.* It is also clear that the author/s of the Qur’an were familiar with both traditions of Jewish and Christian biblical exegesis. Therefore, comparative analysis of the thematic commentaries depicting Moses in the Qur’an and in Ephrem’s writings could highlight how each source interprets the biblical story of Moses’ life and ministry. The study will also aim to establish the influencing tendencies for each of the respective Christian and Muslim sources.

The study will start by setting four original sources in a line of chronological narration of the story of Moses. It will be expressed visually by a four column table. The first two columns represent the biblical narrative of the Old Testament and the development of that narrative should be by Jewish biblical exegetes. The final two columns will be set thematically in order to show how the portrait of Moses was received, adopted and presented in the writings of the Christian biblical exegete, Ephrem the Syrian, and in the suras of the Qur’an.

The outcome of the study will be an analytical comparison of the three monotheistic traditions of biblical exegesis as they are presented by the selected original sources for this study, i.e. Midrash Rabbah, biblical commentaries of Ephrem the Syrian, and the passages of the Qur’an. The conclusion of the study will aim to underline the unique and specific differences between each of the respective sources, and also to draw together the similarities in their presentations. Hence, the outcome of the study will show three examples within the three monotheistic traditions of the ways in which Mosaic biblical narrative of the Old Testament was reciprocated, appreciated and further developed by the authors of the analysed texts. 

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Elena Narinskaya – (20.11.12)

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Image from Coptic Orthodox Church, LA

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13th November, 2012
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Oldham: Leaders of faith communities, agents of Community Cohesion

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Race Riots

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Speaker:  Phil Rawlings, PhD candidate at the University of Chester 
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In 2001 Oldham, along with Burnley and Bradford, experienced ‘race riots’. The subsequent reports on the riots – the Ritchie Report and the Cantle Report, both identified ‘“a depth of polarisation” and segregated communities living “a series of parallel lives”’, warning that ‘further violence is likely if government, police, and community leaders fail to break this polarisation’. A further report in 2005, considering only Oldham, chaired by Ted Cantle, congratulated Oldham for its significant progress in addressing the issues raised, but also indicated that further emphasis on particular areas of cohesion was needed.

While these reports gave passing reference to community leaders, there was no consideration given to any important contributions that could be provided by the leaders of the Religious communities. Since 2011 the political and economic climate has changed considerably, in what some are calling our ‘Post-secular Society’ .

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Unfortunately, no audio is available for this seminar. 

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Image by Wayne Large

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6th November, 2012
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Exploring A Qur’anic hermeneutic to be applied to the New Testament

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Study the Quran

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Speaker:  Dr. Aslam El-Soudani, Junior Research Fellow, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies
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This paper describes a systematic reading methodology developed in the Qur’anic tradition and suggests applying a Muslim hermeneutical lens to reading the New Testament. It provides an outline of the hermeneutical schools that developed in the Muslim intellectual heritage, bridging between semantic and thematic approaches.

I aim to explore the methodology of both of these approaches arguing that their contribution to Qurʼanic hermeneutics is significant in understanding both contextual and universal aspects of the message. This kind of methodology has particular assumptions about what a revelation is, the role of the interpreter and the nature of written scripture. Given these assumptions, would it be possible to read the New Testament using such Qur’anic hermeneutical tools? What is even more interesting is that the interpreter is not independent from the Muslim tradition. In what ways, then, might this enrich our reading of the scripture (if at all)?

Reading the Bible using Qur’anic hermeneutics promises to be a fascinating exploration, one that may conclude that the boundaries we draw as the ‘other’ cease to be relevant, particularly in looking at schools of interpretations. 

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Audio available only upon request.

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Image by Farid Iqbal

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30th October, 2012
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An Islamic commentary on Galatians: Preliminaries and some Major Themes

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St. Paul the Apostle

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Speaker:  Dr. Shabbir Akhtar, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies
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‘Repent of your evil deeds’ is a motto dating from early Islam which was consumed by continuous controversy over the status of the sinner’s works, a fierce legal battle that led to the emergence of opinions that later ossified into Sunni juristic orthodoxy.

The hidden impulse behind this ‘gospel of works’ was to track heresies that could affect the integrity of the state, since every religious controversy, if we use that word with its narrow contemporary secular meaning, was a surrogate for some political disagreement that could threaten the cohesion of the community. By contrast, a Muslim reader of Galatians might see the slogan of Christianity, with its offer of a gospel of free grace, as: ‘Repent of all your deeds, good and evil!’ Reliance on works is a subtle kind of idolatry (shirk).

It was the Apostle Paul who first rejected a key inherited ritual of Judaism, namely circumcision, an emblem of the law and its works. Virtue is beyond the Law. Paul preached Christ crucified, not Christ circumcised. Sinners need a saviour, not mere guidance; they crave salvation, not only the gifts of divine education and edification. They need the Christ, not simply another messenger from God.

In the interests of Christian-Muslim relations, Muslim readers should seek to understand the subtlety and nuance of Pauline teaching (in Galatians and related teaching in other Pauline epistles). Otherwise, it is easy to slander Christians about ethically relevant matters of the law versus grace debate. It is as easy to deal in caricatures in such matters as in matters of doctrine dealing with Christology and the Incarnation.

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Shabbir Akhtar – (30.10.12)

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23rd October, 2012
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Reading Cain and Abel through the lens of the Qur’an

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Cain and Abel

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Speaker:  Sarah Snyder, Doctoral Candidate, University of Cambridge, Trustee of the Jubilee Centre
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READ THE ABSTRACT

 ‘Unlike the Genesis narrative, the Qur’anic Abel has a voice, gently but firmly counselling his brother against wrongdoing. Commentators postulate the reasons for their argument – a love triangle with a beautiful girl at stake, a collision between nomad and land owner, a jealous response to a younger brother’s success. Whilst Adam is away visiting Mecca, Cain takes matters in to his own hands. Why, they ask, does Abel not resist, given his moral and physical superiority? Perhaps this was an assassination…This seminar explores Muslim readings of the Qur’anic story of Cain and Abel and the role of Genesis 4 in supporting their interpretation. What, if any, light is thrown on the biblical view of Cain and Abel by this Qur’anic story?
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Sarah Snyder – (23.10.1)

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16th October, 2012
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Hermeneutical keys for reading the Bible in the context of Islam

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Bible Polyglot

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Speaker:  Dr. Ida Glaser, Academic Director, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies
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I first describe a model for reading between text and context that is characterised as ‘conversation, recognition and analogy’, videmy doctoral thesis (1996) and David Tracey (The Analogical Imagination, SCM, 1981). Analogy ensures that we retain the similarity-in-difference of text and context without falling into the polar mistakes of conflating the systems or seeing them as totally opposed to one another.

Next, conversation between the Biblical texts and the context of Islamic thought suggests the recognition of categories such as ‘prophet/messenger’, ‘revelation’, ‘one God’ and ‘people of God’ as starting points for building fruitful analogies. However, exploration of similarities and differences in such concepts leads to the proposal of pairing Biblical and Islamic concepts in unexpected ways. Foundationally, the Islamic concept of ‘prophet/messenger’ is paired with the Biblical concept of Israel as the ‘people of God’. This leads to the observation that, where the centre of Islamic concepts of revelation is the idea that God speaks, the analogous centre of biblical concepts of revelation is the idea that God comes.

Finally, these ideas are proposed as hermeneutical keys for reading the whole Bible, and their consequences for interpreting selected passages and themes are briefly indicated.

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Ida Glaser – (16.10.12)

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SUMMER TERM

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12th June, 2012
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The ʿUlamāʾs response to English Education in South Asia: 1803-2002

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Indian School Kids

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Speaker:  Dr. Muhammad Arshad
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In the history of Muslim religious intellectual thought (fiqh and ilm al-kalam: jurisprudence and theology) the question of mastering the languages of “others” (non-Muslim people) never arose and, therefore, had not been debated in the early and medieval ages. Muslims had received a very clear verdict from the Prophet Muhammad declaring the acquisition of languages of non-Muslims not only permissible but even preferable and obligatory in some stances.

In the pre-colonial eras, Muslim theologians and jurists never perceived the acquisition of the languages of non-Muslim nations as a threat to Muslim religious and cultural identity, instead they perceived it as an effective medium of academic, religious and cultural dialogue with other nations. Even in pre-modern/postcolonial 17th century Muslim India, when Portuguese Jesuits came in contact with Muslim scholars and engaged them in polemics at the Court of Mughul Emperor Akbar, some of the ‘ulama and courtiers learned Portuguese to respond to the Jesuit missionaries. A school of European languages was established in Lahore, where the sons of the princes and the courtiers learned Portuguese. The ‘ulama did not oppose / challenge that initiative.

However, the British conquest of Muslim Empire in India and, more specifically, the introduction of colonial civilizing mission [the dissemination of European learning, mostly through the medium of English] in the nineteenth century provoked an intensive debate on the question. The debate continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The ‘ulama in their statements, writings and fatawa (religious verdicts), argued in favour or against the notion of learning English and, more particularly, its introduction to the curriculum of the madrasahs (religious seminaries). The persistent debate, significantly, contributed to the Madrasah-curriculum reform initiatives and the establishment of some reformed-madrasahs. Contrary to the standpoint of reformed-ulama, the ‘ulama of the Deoband School did continue to reject the notion of curriculum-reform.

The madrasah of Deoband was the first and largest madrasah, established in the aftermath of the failure of the 1857 uprising. Its founders, patrons and professors vehemently resisted the notion of the introduction of English and modern disciplines in the curriculum throughout the colonial period. However, in the post-colonial period the pressure of the diverse forces (political, social and economic) subjected them to review their longstanding position on the question. Since 1980 a new phase of debates on Madrasah-curriculum reform took place both in Pakistan and India which resultantly paved the way for the introduction of English and some modern disciplines in the curriculum of madrasahs managed by the ‘ulama of Deoband School, first in Pakistan and later in India. It was a historic moment in the history of madrasahs in South Asia, when a Department of English language and Literature was established at Dar al-‘ulum of Deoband, in 2002. Since then, every year, a select group of the graduates of the Madrasah is admitted to the Department to impart to them communication skills.

The close examination of the debates on the introduction of English learning reveals a variety of Muslim religious responses, which can be categorized as: conditional approval, rejection and limited acceptance. These debates also show that the ‘ulama’s response to English learning was shaped and reshaped by several factors: political, cultural, religious etc. I would argue that ‘ulama’s resistance to the learning of English was not just a matter of maintaining their religious authority, as Zaman and others have argued (Malick, 1996; Zaman, 2004). Obviously, the diffusion of modern education had reduced ‘ulama’s religious authority, however there were some other factors which significantly contributed to their resistance to English education. ‘Ulama’s response to English learning was rooted in their resistance to British colonialism. Under the non-Muslim alien rule ‘ulama had assumed the role of the Custodians of the faith of Muslim masses and they were resisting forcefully foreign influences and, particularly, English learning. They perceived English learning as a powerful tool of Western civilization which was undermining the religious and cultural identity of the Muslim masses. ‘Ulama’s traditionalism and conservatism also contributed to their response as they were very wary of embracing innovations and new ideas etc.

This paper seeks to describe and analyze the debates among the ‘ulama on the question of learning English and, more specifically, its introduction to the madrasah-curriculum. It takes into account the statements, writings and fatawa (religious verdicts) of the ‘ulama which appeared during the 19th and 20th centuries. This paper, to a large extent, focuses on the response of the ‘ulama of Deoband school of thought.

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Muhammad Arshad – (12.06.12)

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29th May, 2012
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The Position of the ‘ahl al-kitab’ in the Qur’an: Case study of the Christians

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Open Qur'an

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Speaker:  Dr. Mamadou Bocoum
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Christians and Jews are referred to as Ahl al-Kitab, People of the Book, and have been defined in the Qur’an as those to whom divine revelations have been given prior to the advent of Islam. The Qur’an, by referring to them as Ahl al-Kitab, indicates that they possess divine scriptures just as Muslims do.The term Ahl al-Kitab has 32 occurrences in the Qur’an. Mary, Jesus’ mother, is distinguished in the Qur’an as being the only woman after whom a chapter is named and the only woman’s name mentioned in the Qur’an. Her name has 34 appearances in the Qur’an. Jesus alone is mentioned in the Qur’an more than 30 times. The word Injil, the Qur’anic term corresponding to the Gospel, is mentioned 12 times in the Qur’an.

However, some Muslims, mainly those with literalistic reading of the Qur’an, argue that Muslims should have nothing to do with the Ahl al-Kitab. The latter, they argue, should convert to Islam because their religions have been abrogated by Islam. For Muslim subscribers to this school of thought the matter is quite clear. Not only is Islam the very last religion revealed by Allah but Christians and Jews have a religious obligation to convert to Islam.

However, this paper examines only the position of Christians in the Qur’an. Firstly, it illustrates how Christians are viewed by Muslims; a view that is moulded by a very literalistic reading of some Qur’anic verses, mainly the following: “The only true religion with God is Islam” (Q.3:19); “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers” (Q.3:85); and “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favour upon you, and chosen for you Islam as your religion” (Q.5:3). Secondly, after having studied the above mentioned verses and some Prophetic Traditions, I argue against the claim that Christianity is abrogated by Islam and that Christians must convert to the Islamic faith. Instead the paper concludes that, as Ahl al-Kitab , ‘People of the Book’, Christians in fact share the same concept of monotheism as Muslims.

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Mamadou Bocoum – (29.05.12)

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22nd May, 2012
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Road Signs: The Christian-Muslim Journey Together : Denials, Dangers and Challenges in the 21st Century
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Road-Sign

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Speaker:  Dr. Kenneth Bailey
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Forces of contemporary history tend to the ‘clash of civilizations’ theory of how Islam and Christianity will interact across the current century. But this is not the only alternative. Increasingly the adherents of these two religions find themselves thrown together all across our world. Is there a Christian Journey with Islam?Indeed there is. Demographic shifts in the Christian community worldwide make this journey all the more critical. Many are aware of political, cultural, economic and military forces involved. This paper will focus on the theological journey that awaits us. For such a journey road signs are critical if we are to find our way. The overlapping signs under consideration are ‘denials’, ‘dangers’ and ‘challenges’.

Islamophobia on the one hand and Christianophobia on the other hand are deep, often unrecognized forces influencing each of our communities. These long held views have deep roots. It is easy to point the finger at the other, and hard to scrutinize our own souls. Denials on both sides are often exhibited. Each community needs to overcome those denials if we are to journey forward. ‘You have hurt us!’ is easy to vocalize. ‘We have hurt you,’ is much harder to say. The guilt of an assumed innocence is no longer good enough. Each community needs desperately to take ownership for its own history. Numerous historical occasions of dangerous denials are readily available.

Finally come the challenges. The focus chosen is theological. Affirming that ‘we all agree’ is another form of denial. On the other hand to erect theological steel fences that shut out any common ground is also a form of denial. Christianity in the East was obliged, starting in the seventh century, to face a new community with a new sacred book that asked new questions. The centuries of discussion and debate that took place in Arabic in the Middle East remain largely unknown. Perhaps, built on New Testament texts, it is time to engage in a re-Semitization of Christian Theology for our day. Among the critical issues are Christology, the nature of the trinity, and the historicity and significance of the Cross. If we become friends, are there doors that can be gently and quietly opened? 

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Kenneth Bailey – (22.05.12)

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Image from Ingy the Wingy

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15th May, 2012
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The Law, Religion and the British Constitution

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Speaker:  Prof. Julian Rivers, Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Bristol
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In this paper I sketch the traditional constitutional position of religion in the United Kingdom by reference to distinctive conceptions of religious liberty, religious equality and religious establishment. I consider the thesis that after 1997 the constitution has come to reflect a stronger commitment to multiculturalism and suggest reasons for doubting, or at least modifying, that thesis. Instead, we should direct our attention to other changes such as the weakening of the connection between religion and conscience, the unwillingness to think of religions as normative (and, in some sense, legal) systems, and the growing regulation of religious public services. I suggest that secularism, rather than multiculturalism, is the stronger strand within recent legal developments and query whether religious liberty and equality can survive the trivialisation of religion implicit in such an agenda. 

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Julian Rivers – 15.05.12)

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8th May, 2012
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The Representation of Christianity on Muslim websites

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MuslimResources.com

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Speaker: Canon Dr. Christopher Lamb
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The pioneer of the study of Islamic websites, Dr Gary Bunt, notes that many defy rigid categorisation. This paper will not deal with the ever-expanding field of blogs, Facebook and other social networking sites, podcasts, You-tube and video material, since there is more than enough material available on the standard sites, even in English. Many Muslims in all parts of the Muslim world have seized the opportunity to acquire information, advice and personal contacts from the Web.Much of this is in English as part of da’wah. I have not attempted to assess sites in other languages, or to assess the non-English sections of bi-lingual or multi-lingual sites, so that this Anglophone picture of the web will be inevitably partial.

Attempting to assess attitudes towards Christianity from these sites, we begin with the cultural distance to be travelled by those who convert to Islam. For some it is an easy journey; others encounter problems in being accepted in the mosque. Some of the clearest Muslim statements about Christians and Christianity are those triggered by requests for a judgement from Islamic law on particular circumstances. Should Muslims offer greetings to Christian friends, colleagues or acquaintances at the time of Christian festivals such as Christmas or Easter? Responses tend to express negative or at best cautious views on such matters. Western social and political establishments are often loosely characterised as Christian by Muslims, and this naturally affects the Muslim perception of Christian faith, especially when media coverage in the West appears to denigrate Islam or misrepresent Muslims. American Muslim sites, in particular, are anxious to strike an eirenic note and to challenge the perception that to be Muslim is to be unAmerican.

Muslim responses to all these issues have at their core attitudes and convictions shaped by the Qur’an and Sunna. It is possible to find both positive and negative references to Christians and Christianity in the Qur’an. The negative may seem to be accentuated in the English-language material examined here, because of a felt need to affirm Muslim distinctiveness where Muslims are a small minority in the societies where they live. This is even true in sermons given in Makkah in Arabic and translated for use in Anglophone situations.

What effect will this internet material have on Christian-Muslim relations? The Web seems to encourage strong opinions, but the most significant relations are face to face.

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Christopher Lamb – (08.05.12)

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1st May, 2012
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Born again in Yorubaland: religious forms and existential concerns

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BornAgain
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Speaker:  Victoria Grebe, Doctoral Candidate, University of Cambridge
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Holding to the distinctly evangelical idea of a personal faith, new movements in born-again Christianity and neo-orthodox Islam correspond in the way that they seek renewal through both a return to the ideals of the past and a translation of this through ‘modern’ media. In a contemporary ethnographic analysis of two particular religious groups based in Lagos – a Pentecostal Church (Mountain of Fire and Miracles, a deliverance ministry) and a new Islamic movement (Nasrul-Lahi-il Fathi [NASFAT]) – this paper will outline the part that both groups play in a wider narrative of religious and cultural appropriation.

NASFAT have become known as the Muslim ‘Born-Agains’, running revival services, healing ministries and microfinance schemes, conducting prison visiting, and meeting on Sunday mornings. MFM are known for their dramatic rhetoric of rupture – perhaps more than any other church – with the mantra “Fall down and die!” echoing throughout warehouses across Lagos and beyond during their deliverance services. In constructing personal and corporate identities, leaders and congregants of both groups draw on similar sources of belonging and forms of citizenship.

Does a Muslim group’s borrowing of born-again rhetoric mean something for the Islamic identity of the believer? But does it not also act generatively on the Pentecostal identities on which it draws? This paper will examine the ways that members of these two groups channel revivalism by constructing “notions of newness”, notions which simultaneously re-imagine and express a new sense of self. It will reconsider what it means to be “born-again”, and how this identity is one that fuses the political and the spiritual. The rhetoric and ritual that they use to persuade seekers of their exclusive claims to the truth in fact belong to both, and to neither. Without ignoring adherents’ claims to exclusivity, we can see that in their playing with idioms of the old and new, Christianity and Islam do share a number of religious forms and existential concerns. And so whilst existing within a general climate of increasing suspicion, these groups in fact participate in similar political and spiritual imaginings that in their very rejection of each other serve to bring them conceptually closer.

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Victoria Grebe – (01.05.12)

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SPRING TERM

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14th February, 2012
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Monasticism and pilgrimage in early Islamic Palestine c.614-950

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Hajj

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Speaker:  Dr. Daniel Reynolds
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The transition to Arab rule in the 630s is often viewed as a period which initiated a process of immediate devastation and decline for Palestine’s monastic and pilgrimage network. This interpretation, framed by traditional caricatures of Arabs and Muslims as inherently destructive and hostile towards Palestine’s Christian population, is increasingly unsustainable in view of a growing corpus of archaeological, epigraphic and literary material. 

The integration of monastic communities into localised elite power networks throughout Palestine continued to facilitate their role as venues where sacred and temporal power converged– a relationship which fostered continued financial investment into monastic communities into the 8th century.

Contrary to popular perceptions, which tend to stress early Islamic hostility to Christian shrines, a growing corpus of epigraphic and papyryological data indicates the presence of Muslims at shrines under the custody of monastic communities during the formative phases of Islamic rule.

But this situation did not remain unchanged. The accelerated rate of conversion to Islam over the course of the 9th-10th centuries, alongside more localised socio-economic factors, prompted rapid monastic abandonment across the region. Monasteries experienced an abrupt cessation of patronal intervention and a progressive process of impoverishment.

Whilst this paper will explore these changes between the 7th-10th centuries, it aims to interpret them as the culmination of a complex process of transition in elite social, patronal and devotional preferences in the Islamic world rather than a trend initiated by oppression and hostility. Furthermore, it will address the factors which enabled some monasteries and pilgrim sites to endure this transformative cultural shift and propose that we reconsider approaches to monasticism and pilgrimage as homogenous institutions and social groups. Acknowledging their respective complexities may elicit a more nuanced appreciation of their diverse response to Islamic rule.

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Daniel Reynolds – (14.02.12)

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2nd February, 2012
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Hard to Reach Communities: Living in the UK, and Issues Facing British Muslims of Kashmiri Heritage Born & Bred in the UK
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BrickLane

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Speaker:  Rajput Owais
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In my presentation I will focus on British Muslim Communities living in UK; my main focus will be on the British local community with Kashmiri heritage, as most of the time they are labelled in the media as “Home Grown Radicalised” Muslims, even if they are the fourth & fifth generation born & bred in UK.I will also focus on Processes to Radicalisation in UK, in local communities, again particularly in the Kashmiri community.

I will also focus on design and delivery processes so far used by authorities in de-radicalisation processes and the results so far, and why we need to change those design and delivery processes, especially when we focus on the British Diaspora with Kashmiri heritage, the fourth & fifth generation born & bred in the UK.

We don’t have accurate figures on Kashmiris in Britain because in the ethnic monitoring system they are not recognised as such. However, estimates from different sources show that at least two thirds of British Pakistanis are actually from the Kashmiri part of Mirpur under Pakistani control, the so-called ‘Azad Kashmir’. Migration from this part of Kashmir started in the late 19th century and continued through the two world wars, with chain migration starting in the 1960s.

Today there are five generations of British Kashmiris settled in all the major cities and towns across Britain, with the largest population of nearly 100,000 in Birmingham, followed by over 60,000 in Bradford.

I will focus on what was the role and nature of religion and religious relations in ‘Azad’ Kashmir before the invasion of Pakistani tribal in 1947 and the flight of non-Muslims.

I will also discuss how the generations following those that migrated to Britain from Mirpur Azad Kashmir, and born here, see their attachment with religion and what are the possible local and global sources of radicalisation within this community.

I will conclude with some suggestions about the changes in approach towards Kashmiris within the wider British Muslim Identity that in my view would be useful for community relations and British society as a whole.

My findings and suggestions will be useful to our policymakers, government bodies and NGO’s, including educational authorities in UK & EU, and can be used as a tool to set out future true policies for De-Radicalisation processes within the British Diaspora with Kashmiri heritage.

To set out De-Radicalisation processes we really needs to understand the real issues and true needs, with a cultural dimension, within “Hard to Reach Communities” living in UK in the 21st century. In this presentation I am just focusing on British Muslims with Kashmiri heritage, from those who migrated to those born in the UK (first generation to fifth generation).

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Owais Rajput – (7.02.12)

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31st January, 2012
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Corrections to Qur’an and New Testament Manuscripts: Snapshots of Textual History

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15CManuscript

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Speaker:  Dr. Keith Small
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 Corrections to ancient manuscripts present important information concerning scribal practices. In New Testament manuscript studies, the examination of corrections has provided valuable insights into the textual history of several significant manuscripts.[1] The work of Gacek has proved valuable concerning the development of precise practices of manuscript correction in the greater Arabic manuscript tradition, but the same has not been done for Arabic Qur’an manuscripts.[2]

This presentation will provide a survey of the general kinds of corrections one may find in the New Testament and Qur’an manuscript traditions. Special attention will be given to corrections which change the meaning of the text and affect the continuing form of the text in its transmission history. Some preliminary conclusions will be made from these observations concerning the respective textual histories of these traditions.

[1] D. Jongkind, D. Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus. Piscataway, Gorgias Press, 2007; D.C. Parker, Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and its Text. Cambridge: CUP, 1992.
[2] A. Gacek, A. Taxonomy of scribal errors and corrections in Arabic manuscripts. Theoretical Approaches to the Transmission and Edition of Oriental Manuscripts. J. Pfeiffer and M. Kropp. Beirut: Ergon Verlag Würzburg: 2007, 217-235. 
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Keith Small – (31.1.12)

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24th January, 2012
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Ascension without Resurrection? Debate in the Early Islamic Period on the Ending of Jesus’ Life

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TheAscension

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Speaker: Dr. Mark Beaumont
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The story of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, which was at the very centre of Christian worship in the Middle East, was subjected to deconstruction and reinterpretation after the advent of Islam. Muslims asserted that Jesus ascended to heaven without going through death, and that he would return from heaven to the place from which he ascended to preach Islam and then die, be buried in Medina, and on the day of the resurrection of humankind be raised to eternal life.

While written records of this account are available from ninth century Muslim sources, it is intriguing that one of the earliest written sources is from a Christian-Muslim debate recorded by the Christian side before the end of the eighth century. Subsequent defences of the truth of the Christian version of the story show a variety of approaches to Muslim certitude about the end of the life of the Prophet `Isa, and these apologetic writings have great value for Christians in the twenty first century who want to communicate with Muslims concerning the resurrection of Jesus. 

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Mark Beaumont – (24.01.12)

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