Encountering the Stranger
A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Washington Press
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Twenty-first-century strife—including but not limited to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and controversy a decade later about an Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York, war in Iraq and Afghanistan...
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The title of this book uses a term—encountering—whose meanings can include volatility and even violence. Encountering may involve meeting an enemy or an adversary, perhaps suddenly and unexpectedly...
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No ethical injunction is more important than “You shall not murder.” Human civilization depends on it. So does the value of religion, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In one way or another, all three of those...
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When participants in this trialogue spent time together at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C., they obtained horrific reminders of the human capacity for violence against the other, whose allegedly “essential” characteristics often...
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Contemporary philosopher Emil L. Fackenheim penetrates the core of the Holocaust when he writes that, in the aftermath of this genocide, “philosophers must face...
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“Look you,” how Hamlet’s commentary unfolds. His world is wounded to the core. Hamlet declares the overarching expanse of creation’s firmament, its “most excellent canopy,” to be nothing more than “a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.”...
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All religions have problems when they encounter the stranger. As a Muslim scholar, I argue that the ways in which Muslims have traditionally viewed non-Muslims are unacceptable in the twenty-first-century world. My inquiry explores how the concept...
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In his essay titled “Religion and Tolerance,” the twentieth-century French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas speaks of Judaism as a “religion of tolerance” at its core. Such tolerance, for Levinas, is not to be understood in its customary sense as open-mindedness before the doctrines...
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While exploring the permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in the autumn of 2007, sixteen of the contributors...
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Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people, understands itself to be based on a revelation from heaven. Like the other Abrahamic faiths, it is covenantal, but in distinctive ways. According to both the biblical story and later rabbinic teaching, the Israelites were chosen from among...
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Judeo-Christian monotheism teaches radical identification with strangers. Jews are to recall their past exile in Egypt: “I have been a stranger in a strange land” (Exodus 2:22); gentile Christians, although now “of the [Jewish] household of God,” are to recall...
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In the concrete language characteristic of midrash, the Midrash Rabbah on Genesis struggles with the theological question of why God decided to create a creature as imperfect as the human being. The words of the midrashic text illuminate abstract concepts...
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On September 11, 2001, the United States arguably suffered the most serious foreign attack ever on its soil. American intelligence agencies identified the perpetrators as being of Muslim and Arab origin. The post–September 11 world is radically different...
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The twenty-first century is beset by seemingly intractable problems which point to the fact that we are suffering a deep spiritual crisis. Despite positive developments in many spheres of life, scientific breakthroughs among them, humanity still lacks the wisdom...
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Unless one takes a longer view of history and considers the Andalusian period in medieval Spain when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived side by side and, “despite their intractable differences and enduring hostilities, nourished a complex culture of tolerance...
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The legendary Irish musician Tommy Sands has shown for decades that seemingly fragile and powerless realities—for example, his guitar and voice singing songs that he recalls from the past or writes for the present and future...
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Jerusalem, June 1971. I had not come to the Holy Land as a tourist. Several weeks earlier, I learned that my sister Carol was in an Israeli psychiatric hospital, diagnosed as schizophrenic. My parents told me that her doctors...
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The situation could hardly be more complex: a Jew who raises a Christian orphan girl is challenged by a Muslim sultan to respond to the question, “Which religion is the true one?” To make matters even more complicated, the scene takes place in Jerusalem. How will the Jewish...
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So-called newsworthy information concerning “others” and their societies around the world often reveals a lack of dialogical interaction. We often encounter cultural and religious differences without understanding the contexts of these differences and our relation to them...
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I am a Jew. There is no branch of Judaism that would deny this, despite my maternal grandmother’s marriage to a non-Jew, despite my having celebrated Christmas throughout my childhood, despite my occasional affection for bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches...
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North America, and in particular the United States, has never allowed me to forget who I am. Long before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, I was made to know that I was the outsider. As a Muslim living on a continent where religion plays a larger...
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Catholic approaches to interreligious dialogue begin with three models for understanding religious diversity: exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism.1 With regard to non-Christian religions, however, this typology has become a stumbling block...
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As Encountering the Stranger draws to a close, what is worth remembering about this book? Its readers, of course, will provide the most important responses to that question, but Elie Wiesel’s proposition...
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Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Stephen S. Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies
Series Editor Byline: Edited by David Patterson and John K. Roth