- Christians, Muslims, and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013), 285 pp.
Siddiqui, a professor of Islamic and interreligious studies at the University of Edinburgh and a well- known and prolific Muslim intellectual, has written here a broad survey, at once substantive and reflective, of the relationship between Muslim views of Christianity and Christian views of Islam since the time of the Qur’an, through the period of the medieval polemics, up to the contemporary scene. The title, in a sense, is misleading, as the topics covered are much broader than the — central — problem of the Islamic perception of Jesus. Siddiqui is right to start her inquiry with a chapter on prophecy, which really is the main issue for the Qur’an and hence for early Islamic theology. Christian theologians, for their part, had no choice but to claim that Muhammad was a false prophet, since Jesus himself had closed the chain of prophecy. As the title makes clear, the historical dialectics between Christianity and Islam must focus on at least one Jew. The intellectual relationship between Christianity and Islam, however, cannot be adequately understood without treatment, spanning its entire history, of the relationship’s Jewish dimension.
Guy G. Stroumsa, professor emeritus of the study of the Abrahamic religions at Oxford University and Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the author of The End of Sacrifice: Religious Transformations of Late Antiquity; A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of Reason; Hidden Wisdom: Esoteric Traditions and the Roots of Christian Mysticism; Kanon und Kultur; Savoir et Salut: Traditions juives et tentations dualistes dans le christianisme ancien; Another Seed: Studies in Gnostic Mythology; and Barbarian Philosophy: The Religious Revolution of Early Christianity.