Understanding Islam: The Big Picture

The first series of Understanding Islam TV programmes, called The Big Picture, is available on You Tube by following the links on the “UI course” button on this website, then the “Big Picture” page.  All twelve articles for this series have been compiled together and are available by clicking on the “Written Resources” button and then the “Books” page.  To view this compilation, you can also click on the link below:

Big Picture

Introduction to UI Course

Please click to download the PDF Introduction to the UI course

The first series of twelve episodes of the course is complete.  The video for each episode and a set of notes in pdf format can be found by clicking here.

The Second series of twelve episodes of the course is complete. The video for each episode and a set of notes in pdf format can be found by clicking here.

The Third series is currently underway. As each becomes available, the notes and videos can be found by clicking here.

A Common Word: five years on

In October 2007, an Open Letter (www.acommonword.com) was sent, signed by 138 Muslim religious leaders, to a range of Christian leaders inviting them to come to work together to build peace between Christians and Muslims on the basis of a verse of the Qur’an (Q. 3:64). This was a significant Muslim initiative in Christian-Muslim relations. Five years on, this reading guide is offered to readers to help unpack some of the context, content and complexity of A Common Word and to indicate points on which Christians might like to reflect in thinking of an appropriate response. To read more, click on the link below

ACW five years on

Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

This book captures the autobiographical reflections of twenty-eight Christian men and women who, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council and movements within the World Council of Churches, committed their lives to the study of Islam and to practical Christian–Muslim relations in new and irenic ways. Their contributions come from across the spectrum of the Western church and record what drew them into the study of Islam, how their careers developed, what sustained them in this work and salient milestones along the way. Their accounts take us to twenty-five countries and into all the branches of Islamic studies: Qur’an, Hadith, Shari’a, Sufism, philology, theology, and philosophy. They give fascinating insights into personal encounters with Islam and Muslims, speak of the ways in which their Christian traditions of spiritual training formed and nourished them, and deal with some of the misunderstandings and opposition they have faced along the way. In an analytical conclusion, the editors draw out themes and pointers towards future developments. Click below to read more…

Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Husayn and Karbala: a role model for humanity

Imam Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, together with seventy-two of his companions, was brutally massacred on Ashura Day, 680 on the plain of Karbala in Iraq. This event acts as a clarion cry for Shi’a Muslims, that they too should stand for the cause of justice and right. It is marked by deepest mourning and a review of life. What happened? Why is it such a central element of Islam? How might it act as a role-model for all human beings? Husayn role model for humanity

We have Justice in Common

In October 2007, an “Open Letter” was sent from Muslim religious leaders to Christian leaders inviting them to come to “A Common Word” between them about the primacy of loving God and loving one’s neighbour. The document was originally signed by 138 Muslim leaders from various countries but South and South-East Asia and Africa in general were under-represented, especially when it is considered that these are the areas of the world in which Muslims and Christians live in large number and engage in daily contact. In the light of this, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Germany in October 2009 convened a colloquium of Christian and Muslim scholars and activists from these two regions to discuss the Open Letter and its impact on their local communities. The resulting report, edited by Christian Troll, Helmut Reifeld and Chris Hewer, called We have Justice in Common, was published in 2010. The name was chosen to reflect the overwhelming sense of the colloquium that the central ethical principle of justice needed to be added to any discussion of Christian-Muslim relations. The full text of the report is available to download here.
We have Justice in Common