First Georgetown-Campion Hall Seminar: Muhammad

November 12-13, 2010

The theme of the first seminar was Muhammad. Papers were given by David Marshall (“Muhammad in Contemporary Christian Theological Reflection”), Martin Whittingham ("Devotion to Muhammad"), and Daniel Madigan, S.J. (“Revisionist Historiography and Christian Attitudes towards Muhammad”).

Points touched on in wider discussion included:
  • The relationship between faith and the ever-shifting perspectives arising from historical research;
  • The differences between the very defined Islamic understanding of what a prophet is and the often much looser ways in which Christians use the term; 
  • The criticism in a recent Muslim World article by Muslim scholar Timothy Winter of Kenneth Cragg’s alleged reduction of the Islamic understanding of prophethood to the provision of guidance and law;
  • The diverse Muslim understandings and portrayals of Muhammad: are Muslims in the West generating new perspectives on Muhammad (e.g. in Tariq Ramadan’s The Messenger)?

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