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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Jesus in Christian-Muslim Relations (THET11059)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis comparative course examines Islamic and Christian views of Jesus of Nazareth and critically explores how narratives and understandings of Jesus have impacted Christian-Muslim Relations from the 7th Century to the Present Day.
Course description Academic Description

Jesus of Nazareth figures prominently in the scriptural, theological, and narrative understandings and religious practices of both the Christian and Islamic traditions. Both the New Testament and the Qur'an include extensive narratives about his birth, life, mission, teaching, and relationship to God. Muslims and Christians refer to Jesus as the Messiah, a prophet, a Word from God, and the son of Mary. And yet, Christians and Muslims also have had fundamental disagreements about Jesus that profoundly shape their theologies, scriptural interpretation, religious practices, and rituals. This comparative course offers a critical historical, scriptural, philosophical, and theological analysis of the importance of Jesus to both Islam and Christianity and how differing understandings of Jesus have fundamentally impacted Christian-Muslim Relations. Students will consider the relationship between the Qur'anic narratives of Jesus and Late Antiquite Christianity and Judaism, explore classical polemics, apologetics, and mystical depictions of Jesus in the Islamicate world, and critically evaluate contemporary proposals for understanding Jesus' role and legacy in Christian-Muslim Relations. Throughout the course students will engage in a dialogical and comparative study of Jesus and explore his relationship to other aspects of Christianity and Islam.


The course is divided into three major sections. The first scrutinizes the Qur'anic and Hadith material on Jesus, locating these texts and traditions within both Late Antique Christianity and early Islamic history. The course will investigate the historical, social, and religious contexts in which early Islamic depictions and understandings of Jesus emerged, giving particular critical attention to various theories of around the Jewish and Christian resonances or influences on the Qur'an. Students will study questions of history, influence, and the differing function of the New Testament and Qur'an. The second section offers a close study of classical understanding of Jesus in Christian-Muslim Relations, focusing primarily on the Islamicate contexts from approximately 800-1400 common era. Themes to be considered may include prophetology, the unity of God and divinity of Christ, ritual practices of worship and veneration, the death of Jesus, the Mahdi, and mysticism. The final section examines modern understandings of Jesus, both from Christian and Muslim perspectives, that attempt to articulate the meaning and significance of Jesus in the context of contemporary Christian-Muslim debate. Throughout students will engage in a dialogical study that considers how understandings of Jesus impact Islamic and Christian ritual practices, scriptural readings, prophetology, theologies of God, political visions, and ethics.

Student Learning Experience

The course will be delivered in the form of eleven weekly two-hour sessions. The first half of each session will be devoted to a lecture, and the second half to a discussion-based seminar focused on in-depth analysis and discussion of the assigned readings. Students are expected to complete the assigned readings for each week and to come prepared to discuss the issues, questions, and perspectives raised in the readings. Students will be assessed on their in class presentations, summary of their presentation, and research essay. By mid-way through the course, the instructor will meet with students to discuss their final research essay and offer comment on their outlines. Through their class participation and assignments, students will demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  19
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Presentation (20%): Each student will deliver a presentation of no more than 10 minutes that introduces a key concept, thinker, or debate from the course material to the class. In addition to the in-class presentation, students will be required to submit a 150 word abstract and one page outline of their presentation material. If numbers are higher than feasible for individual presentations, students will be assigned into small groups.«br /»
«br /»
Essay (80%): Each student will submit an essay of 4000 words on a topic selected in consultation with the course organiser.«br /»
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback on an essay plan prior to the submission of the essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Qur'anic depictions of Jesus and be able to assess the Qur'anic narratives relationship to both Late Antiquity and early Islamic history.
  2. Critically evaluate various Muslim and Christian apologetic and polemic strategies for inter-religious debate and dialogue about Jesus.
  3. Compare and Contrast Islamic and Christian Christologies and demonstrate an understanding of how context, history, and politics impact theologies.
  4. Pursue and present independent interdisciplinary research in the field of Christian-Muslims Relations
  5. Engage in constructive and critical debate with peers.
Reading List
Select Bibliography

Abu Qurrah, Theodore. Writings. Translated by John C. Lamoreaux (Provo: BYU University Press, 2006).

Accad, Martin. Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching Across the Christian-Muslim Divide (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).

Akyol, Mustafa. The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2017).

Ayoub, Mahmoud. A Muslim View of Christianity (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2009).

Donner, Fred M. Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010).

Ebied, Rifaat and David Thomas (eds.). The Polemical Works of ¿Al¿ al-¿abar¿ (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
Ebied, Rifaat and David Thomas (eds). Muslim-Christian Polemic during the Crusades: The Letter from the People of Cyprus and Ibn Abi Talib al-Dimashqi's Response (Leiden: Brill, 2005).
Cragg, Kenneth. Jesus and the Muslim (Oxford: OneWorld, 1999).

Khalidi, Tarif. The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Khorchide, Mouhanad and Klaus Von Stosch. Der Andere Prophet: Jesus im Koran (Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Herder, 2018).

Lamptey, Jerusha. Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Leirvik, Oddbjørn. Images of Jesus Christ in Islam (New York: Routledge, 2010).
Madigan, Daniel. 'People of the Word: Reading John with a Muslim.' Review and Expositor 104 (2007): 81-95.

McAuliffe, Jane Dammen. Qur'anic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis (Cambridge, 1991).

Michel, Thomas. A Muslim Theologian's Response to Christianity. Delman: Caravan Books, 1984.

Neuwirth, Angelika. The Qur'an and Late Antiquity: A Shared Heritage (Oxford, 2019).
Newman, N.A. (ed.). The Early Christian-Muslim Dialogue: Translations with Commentary. Hatfield: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1993.
al-Qara¿fi¿, Shiha¿b al-Di¿n Abi¿ al-¿Abba¿s Ah¿mad ibn Idri¿s ibn ¿Abd al-Rah¿ma¿n al-S¿inha¿ji¿ al-mashhu¿r bi-al-Qara¿fi¿. ed. B.Z. Awad, Cairo, 1987.
Reynolds, Gabriel Said. The Qur'an and Its Biblical Subtexts (New York: Routledge, 2010).
Reynolds, Gabriel Said. A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd Al-Jabba¿r and the Critique of Christian Origins (Leiden: Brill, 2004).
Siddiqui, Mona. Christians, Muslims and Jesus (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013).

Ibn Taymi¿yah, Ah¿mad ibn ¿Abd al-H¿ali¿m, and Muh¿ammad H¿asan Muh¿ammad H¿asan Isma¿¿i¿l. Sha¿fi¿i¿. al-Jawa¿b al-s¿ah¿i¿h¿ li-man baddala di¿n al-Masi¿h¿ / ta¿li¿f Abi¿ al-¿Abba¿s Taqi¿ al-Di¿n Ah¿mad ibn ¿Abd al-H¿ali¿m ibn Taymi¿yah al-H¿urra¿ni¿¿; tah¿qi¿q Muh¿ammad H¿asan Muh¿ammad H¿asan Isma¿¿i¿l. Al-T¿ab¿ah 1. Bayru¿t: Al-Maktabah al-¿Ilmi¿yah, 2003. Print.

Wood, Simon A. Christian Criticisms, Islamic Proofs: Rashid Rida's Modernist Defense of Islam (Oxford: OneWorld, 2008).

Zahniser, A.H. Mathias. The Mission and Death of Jesus in Islam and Christianity (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2008),

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to engage in comparative historical analysis.
- Ability to interpret primary and secondary literature in an interdisciplinary context that draws on history, religious studies, philosophy, and theology.
- Ability to think historically, systematically, and comparatively.
- Ability to pursue and present independent research.
KeywordsChristian-Muslim Relations,Christology,Jesus Christ,theology,Late Antiquity,Qur'an
Course organiserDr Joshua Ralston
Tel: (0131 6)50 8928
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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