A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy
192 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268107253 | March 2020
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268107277 | March 2020
eBook (PDF) | 9780268107284 | March 2020
Scholarly attempts to understand Islam in the West over the past several years have failed to take Islamic theology seriously. This book engages Islam from deep within the Christian tradition by addressing the question of the prophethood of Muhammad. Anna Bonta Moreland calls for a retrieval of Thomistic thought on prophecy to view Muhammad within a Christian theology of revelation, without either appropriating the prophet as an unwitting Christian or reducing both Christianity and Islam to a common denominator. This historical recovery leads to a more sophisticated understanding of Islam, one that honors the integrity of the Catholic tradition and, through that integrity, argues for the possibility in principle of Muhammad as a religious prophet.
Moreland sets the stage for this inquiry through an intertextual reading of the key Vatican II documents on Islam and on Christian revelation. She then uses Aquinas's treatment of prophecy to address the case of whether Muhammad is a prophet in Christian terms. The book examines the work of several Christian theologians, including W. Montgomery Watt, Hans Küng, Kenneth Cragg, David Kerr, and Jacques Jomier, O.P., and then draws upon the practice of analogical reasoning in the theology of religious pluralism to show that a term in one religion—in this case “prophecy”—can have purchase in another religious tradition. Muhammad Reconsidered not only is a constructive contribution to Catholic theology but also has enormous potential to help scholars reframe and comprehend Christian-Muslim relations.
Anna Bonta Moreland is associate professor of theology at Villanova University. She is the author of Known by Nature: Thomas Aquinas on Knowledge of God.
"Anna Bonta Moreland's Muhammad Reconsidered makes a significant contribution to Catholic theology of Islam and interreligious dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Her style is lucid, learned, and accessible. She opens new doors. This book will be of interest to Christian and Muslim scholars and the lay public." ~Gavid D'Costa, University of Bristol
"Anna Moreland's illuminating and powerfully argued book is essential reading for anyone concerned about how Catholic Christians should engage with their Muslim neighbors. It provides an insightful and badly needed account of how, according to Aquinas, God communicates through prophetic utterances and acts. This is theology at its best." ~Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue and Dependent Rational Animals
"While Christian-Muslim dialogue meetings and events have been going on for some time in both religious and academic spaces, as an academic discipline with texts and boundaries it is still very new. Given its focus both on issues directly related to dialogue as it has developed over the last quarter century or so and on the historiography of Christian engagement with Islamic theology, Anna Bonta Moreland's book can be one of the foundational texts in the discipline." ~Zeki Saritoprak, author of Islam's Jesus