Miroslav Volf is Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School.
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. / That original letter and a collaborative Christian response “Loving God and Neighbor Together” both appear in this remarkable volume. Building on those original momentous documents, A Common Word further includes subsequent commentary and dialogue between Muslim and Christian scholars addressing critical and frequently asked questions. All in all, this eventful book encapsulates a brave and encouraging move toward harmony and accord between two world religions so often seen to be at odds.
In 2007, a number of Muslim leaders published an open letter in the New York Times that they called "A Common Word"; the document stressed the common ground of Islam and Christianity in love of God and love of neighbor. This important volume unites that original letter and one of the most substantial Christian replies, the so-called Yale Response, created by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, with new essays by notables such as Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Harvey Cox, Andre Saperstein, and Sen. John Kerry. VERDICT Almost without doubt one of the most profound interfaith movements and statements in recent memory, this work brings a new audience to this crucial dialog; essential reading for the thoughtful Christian or Muslim.
Foreword Tony Blair ix
Part I Invitation and Response
On "A Common Word Between Us and You" H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad 3
A Common Word for a Common Future Miroslav Volf 18
A Common Word Between Us and You 28
Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to "A Common Word Between Us and You" Miroslav Volf Joseph Cumming Melissa Yarrington 51
Part II Muslim Perspectives
Loving God and Loving Neighbor Habib Ali al-Jifri 79
God, "The Loving" Reza Shah-Kazemi 88
The Word of God: The Bridge between Him, You, and Us Seyyed Hossein Nasr 110
The Concept of Loving Neighbor in the Qur'an and Hadith His Excellency Judge Bola Abdul Jabbar Ajibola 118
Part III Christian Perspectives
God Is Love: Biblical and Theological Reflections on a Foundational Christian Claim Miroslav Volf 125
Understanding the Meaning of Love: Eternal or Temporal? Self-Giving or Gift-Giving? Joseph L. Cumming 143
Transforming Love David Burrell, C.S.C 153
Loving Neighbor in Word and Deed: What Jesus Meant Martin Accad 157
Love and Speech: With Remarks on Seduction and Sorcery Harvey Cox 162
Part IV Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions That Muslims Have Been Asked about "A Common Word" Ghazi bin Muhammad Aref Nayed 171
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Yale Response to "A Common Word Between Us and You" Andrew Saperstein Rick Love Joseph Cumming 178
Part V Political Significance of "A Common Word"
Common Word, Dialogue, and the Future of the World Senator John F. Kerry 193
Appendix 1 The Addressees and Signatories of "A Common Word Between Us and You" 201
Appendix 2 The Signatories of theYale Response, "Loving God and Neighbor Together" 214