Tag Archives: interfaith dialogue

A Reflection on the Life and Teaching of Imam Ali al-Raza from a Christian Perspective

A paper delivered at a conference organised by Astan Razavi in conjunction with the University of Tehran and Sharif University of Technology entitled, “Civilisational Thoughts of Imam Raza (peace be upon him_: Justice for all and injustice for no one.” (download a copy here)

In this short presentation I will be reflecting on the life and teaching of Imam Ali al-Raza as summarised in the Razavi Codes of Ethics,[1] comparing and contrasting them with ethical instructions taught by Jesus Christ found in the four Gospels of the New Testament.  Given that those participating will likely already be familiar with the example and teaching of Imam Raza, I will elaborate more on the teaching of Jesus to illustrate similarities and differences, recognising that Imam Raza, living many centuries after the New Testament was written, may well have been influenced by it, consciously or otherwise. 

This will not however, be an exhaustive or comprehensive analysis of Islamic and Christian ethical codes, but rather a comparison of some of the 13 examples contained in the Razavi Codes of Ethics with similar statements found in the teaching of Jesus. 

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A Common Word Between Us and You

I am at Fuller Theological Seminary participating in the third Evangelical Christian Muslim Conference. The theme is “A Common Word between us and you“. The conference has brought together evangelical and Muslim scholars from many educational institutions, mission agencies and countries to enhance the work of justice and peace.

Among the evangelicals here are: Donald Wagner, Leith Anderson, Gary Burge, Len Rogers, Colin Chapman, Dudley Woodbury, and Martin Accad. Muslim leaders include: Mahmoud Ayoub, Assad Busool, Asma Afsaruddin, Muhammad Sammak, Jamal Badawi, Sayid Sayeed, Abed Ismail.

Several present were signators of the Common Word declaration and the Christian Response initiaited by Yale. The two previous conferences in Chicago (November 2006) and Tripoli (January 2008) were formative and educational meetings with important friendships gained and fruitful dialogue exchanged. Sponsors include North Park University in Chicago, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and the World Islamic Call Society of Tripoli.

During the conference I delivered a paper entitled “Christian Minorities living under Muslim rule” You can read it here or as a pdf here.