Generous Love in Multi–Faith Ireland: Towards Mature Citizenship and a Positive Pedagogy for the Church of Ireland in Local Christian–Muslim Mission and Engagement
Book 8 of the ‘Braemor Series‘.
The aim behind this book was to identify hindrances to Christian–Muslim engagement in Church of Ireland parishes and dioceses, with a view to stimulating the future development of a contextualised teaching resource on Christian–Muslim engagement for use by clergy and laity in the Church’s changing mission context. The envisioned pedagogy is a practical, Bible–based resource, in which all members of the Church can be confident, enabling the Church to have a positive praxis of intentional presence, generous engagement, witness and service towards its Muslim neighbours.
The work is grounded in the theologies of Generous Love and Presence and Engagement, identified through the three theological strands undertaken in the project: Biblical, Systematic, and Pastoral. The central themes are the theologies of the kindness of God, friendship, hospitality, pardon and embrace, superabundance and gift – evident in the Trinity, Incarnation, Cross, and the Eucharist. These themes are supported by the work of Jürgen Moltmann, Miroslav Volf, Paul Ricoeur and Janet Soskice.
The work straddles the fields of Missiology and History of Religions, and is influenced by Moltmann’s Theology of Hope, Volf’s Theology of Embrace, and by the biblical hermeneutics and theological ethics of Ricoeur (inhabiting the text, equivalence, superabundance and economy of gift). It reflects on the creative approach of the fourth century saint, Ephrem the Syrian, to interpreting Scripture and teaching orthodoxy. The question of the oneness and plurality of God as a theological concern for some Christians is explored, and whether the referents ‘God’ and ‘Allah’ are to the same God though differently understood is discussed, along with the contribution of Volf and others to this debate. Furthermore the theology and eirenic praxis of Christians who engaged with Muslims in the early Islamic world, including Francis of Assisi, are examined, while the desire of present day Christians to be faithful in their allegiance to Jesus Christ, to his uniqueness, divinity, and status and identity as Lord, while engaging locally in Christian–Muslim encounter, is also explored. Finally the book identifies theological and pastoral challenges and concerns for clergy assisting their parishioners in everyday Christian–Muslim relationships.
Her book is an excellent introduction to the best that has been written about inter–faith relationships
Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, Methodist Recorder
Friday, April 27, 2018
This is in many ways a challenging read, but nevertheless it is one which in its insights, information, and references will be found immensely valuable not only to clergy in the greater Dublin region, where religious diversity is strongest, but to everyone in any part of the country concerned about these matters.
Peter Costello, Irish Catholic
17 May 2018
Church of Ireland Publishing