Abraham’s Children: Encounters Between Christians, Jews, and Muslims

The Catholic University of America

Abraham’s Children: Encounters Between Christians, Jews, and Muslims

The Catholic University of America

How does the term “Abrahamic religions” shape your idea of three major world religions?

This 21-lecture course uses the shared heritage of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as a springboard for interfaith dialogue. As you make your way through the course, you will explore the ways in which this conceptual framework promotes peace and understanding without becoming too simplistic.

Reframing an old idea, the concept of “Abrahamic religions” endeavors to improve Christian–Muslim relations by patterning them after 20th-century Jewish–Christian dialogues.

But Prof. Wilhelmus “Pim” Valkenberg, M.A., M.Div., notes the tendency for these dialogues to get “too cozy.” He advocates for holding a trialogue instead. In Abraham’s Children: Encounters

How does the term “Abrahamic religions” shape your idea of three major world religions?

This 21-lecture course uses the shared heritage of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as a springboard for interfaith dialogue. As you make your way through the course, you will explore the ways in which this conceptual framework promotes peace and understanding without becoming too simplistic.

Reframing an old idea, the concept of “Abrahamic religions” endeavors to improve Christian–Muslim relations by patterning them after 20th-century Jewish–Christian dialogues.

But Prof. Wilhelmus “Pim” Valkenberg, M.A., M.Div., notes the tendency for these dialogues to get “too cozy.” He advocates for holding a trialogue instead. In Abraham’s Children: Encounters Between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, you will be begin each discussion by invoking the history of contested relationships among these religious traditions. You will then turn to examine contemporary interreligious endeavors to ameliorate those relationships. Throughout, you will gain important insights into the commonalities, differences, and opportunities for improved understanding between these three religions.

Nowadays the posture towards Christians’, Jews’, and Muslims’ historical relationship to Abraham—as a specific person from a specific time period—is much more positive than it had been in earlier times. As your guide to this sensitive subject, Prof. Valkenberg’s calm and caring example is a precious asset. You will come away with a sophisticated and nuanced perspective of the “family resemblances” among Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

In the same way that Abraham was called by God, so as children of Abraham are Christians, Jews, and Muslims called to cooperate for the good of humankind.

$179.95 $44.95

  • Introduction: The Notion of Abrahamic religions
  • Lumen Gentium 16 and Nostra Aetate 3-4
  • Pope John XXIII and the Declaration about the Jews
  • Pope Paul VI and the Relation to Non-Christians
  • Fifty Years After Nostra Aetate
  • Different Approaches to Abraham
  • Abraham and His Family in Genesis 12-25
  • The Significance of Abraham according to Jon Levenson
  • The Role of Abraham in the New Testament
  • Arguing About Abraham: the Qur’ān
  • Late Antiquity as Context for Abrahamic Encounters
  • Intertwined Worlds: Boyarin, Lazarus-Yafeh, and Nirenberg
  • Reuven Firestone on Models of Divine Election
  • Learned Ignorance
  • David Burrell and the “Hidden Presence of God” in Aquinas
  • Divine Agency and Human Freedom
  • Toward a Jewish–Christian–Muslim Comparative Theology
  • Jewish Initiatives in Interfaith Dialogue: Dabru Emet and the ICJS
  • Pope Benedict XVI and the Regensburg Address
  • A Contemporary Muslim Voice: The Common Word Document
  • Lessons from Dialogue with Jews for Dialogue with Muslims

Wilhelmus “Pim” Valkenberg, M.A., M.Div., is an expert on interreligious dialogue. He is Ordinary Professor of Religion and Culture at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he serves as the Director of the Institute for Interreligious Studies and Dialogue.

Prof. Valkenberg was born in the Netherlands. He studied theology and religious studies in Utrecht, earning his M.A. in theology and his M.Div. in pastoral studies. From 1987 to 2007, he was an assistant and later associate professor of dogmatic theology and the theology of religions at the Catholic University of Nijmegen (Netherlands). There, in 1991, he helped found the Department of Religious Studies with a focus on interreligious dialogue.

At different points in his career, Prof. Valkenberg has been a visiting fellow at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), St. Augustine’s College in Johannesburg (South Africa), and the University of Notre Dame (Indiana). Between 2006 and 2011 he was a visiting professor and an associate professor of theology at Loyola University Maryland.

Prof. Valkenberg’s research concentrates on Christian–Muslim dialogue in the context of Abrahamic partnership. He is the author or editor of several books, including: The Three Rings (Leuven 2005), The Polemical Dialogue (Saarbrücken 1997), and World Religions in Dialogue: A Comparative Theological Approach (Winona MN: Anselm Academic, 2013). His forthcoming publications include No Power over God’s Bounty: A Christian Commentary on the “People of Scripture” in the Qur’an (Leuven 2019) and Brill’s Companion to Comparative Theology (Leiden 2020).

Praise for Pim Valkenberg

“Prof. Valkenberg is a gifted scholar/teacher who has brought to Christian-Muslim relations a rare depth of critical insight, a palpable generosity of spirit, and a refreshing sense of passion for the pursuit of truth, justice, and compassion in dialogue.”
– Scott C. Alexander, Ph.D., Professor of Islamic Studies & Christian–Muslim Relations, Catholic Theological Union

“Pim (Wilhelmus G.B.M.) Valkenberg is a respected Catholic theologian, well-grounded in tradition and contemporary theology. He has also, very importantly, cultivated over the years a deep commitment to comparative theological studies, with particular interest in Islam in both its classical and contemporary forms. He is therefore very well placed to draw Islamic theology and practice into Catholic theological reflection, in a way that does justice to both Islam and the Catholic tradition. He shows us persuasively how a Christian commitment is perfectly compatible with learning deeply from another religious tradition. An added virtue of his work is that this Dutch-born scholar knows well both the American and European worlds of theological studies.”
– Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

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