Building bridges between different faith communities can be a challenge, especially if the end goal is conversion. Part of true interfaith dialogue is an acknowledgment that the real goal is finding common spaces and that conversion is unlikely. When the focus is on winning adherents to a faith, it ceases to be a bridge-building exercise and becomes missionary work. This is the case with the Camel Method, developed by Kevin Greeson to bring Muslims to Christianity by using the Qur’an.
Camel is an acronym for Chosen Angels Miracles Eternal Life. This method aims to win Muslim converts to Christianity by beginning with passages about Jesus in the Qur’an. For example, a missionary using this method would make reference to the 19th chapter, Surah Maryam, which tells the story of the birth of Jesus, Isa in the Qur’an, and ask if any other prophet had such a miraculous birth. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Anna M. Gade, Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia and the Religious Studies Program at UW-Madison, and the author of The Qur’an: An Introduction. She will be the guest of today’s Inside Islam radio show on Wisconsin Public Radio March 11 at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET).
A way to introduce the Qur’an to students in a classroom in Religious Studies is to present the text as religious Muslims experience it daily: embodied in voice and sound, expressed in rhythm and pitch. If listeners do not immediately understand the meanings of all the Arabic words they hear, they may share this experience with about four-fifths of the world’s Muslims who are also not native Arabic speakers. Approaching the Qur’an in this way, hearing real voices render what is believed to be God’s unchanging speech, can help learners to imagine the diverse global contexts across space and over time in which the Qur’an is faithfully rehearsed. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Scott LeDanse, a visual artist in Madison.
I made this painting in Konya and Uchisar in 1982 from a Qur’anic text I saw and loved in Konya. The verses in the painting are from Chapter 12, The Chapter of Joseph, verses 83-91.
Click image to see the painting in full screen
On the most recent Inside Islam radio show, Islam and Science, Jean talked with George Saliba, professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Columbia and a leading expert on the history of Islamic science, and Ehsan Masood, author of Science and Islam: A History. In addition, the show aired a recorded interview with Nidal Guessom, professor of physics and astronomy at the American University of Sharjah.
The show explored the contributions of scientists under the Islamic Empire and the role they played in the rise of modern science. The questions discussed included:
- Why have the contributions of these scientists been ignored?
- What role can religion play in advancing science?
- What were the reasons for the decline of Islamic science?
- What is the state of scientific inquiry in the Islamic world?
In general, the show shed light on an important part of scientific history and generated discussion even after its airing with a blog entry on MuslimMatters.org .
The next Inside Islam radio show will air on March 11th and will focus on the art of reciting the Qur’an. The Qur’an may be one of the world’s most misunderstood texts. Many do not realize that there is an aesthetic dimension that plays a central role in eliciting an emotive response in the listener. The show will explore this aesthetic aspect in order to shed light on the Qur’an.
Have you ever heard the Qur’an recited? What was your reaction? Do you think that there is an emotive response to Qur’anic recitation? Why? Do you have a specific Qur’anic reciter that you enjoy listening too? Is there something about Qur’anic recitation you have always wanted to ask? Please leave your comments and questions below and they may appear on the air on the next Inside Islam show.