Building a Better Bridge

Building a Better Bridge: Muslims, Christians, and the Common Good

Michael Ipgrave Editor
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Building a Better Bridge
    Book Description:

    Building a Better Bridge is a record of the fourth "Building Bridges" seminar held in Sarajevo in 2005 as part of an annual symposium on Muslim-Christian relations cosponsored by Georgetown University and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This volume presents the texts of the public lectures with regional presentations on issues of citizenship, religious believing and belonging, and the relationship between government and religion-both from the immediate situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and from three contexts further afield: Britain, Malaysia, and West Africa. Both Christian and Muslim scholars propose key questions to be faced in addressing the issue of the common good. How do we approach the civic sphere as believers in particular faiths and as citizens of mixed societies? What makes us who we are, and how do our religious and secular allegiances relate to one another? How do we accommodate our commitment to religious values with acknowledgment of human disagreement, and how can this be expressed in models of governance and justice? How are we, mandated by scriptures to be caretakers, to respond to the current ecological and economic disorder of our world? Michael Ipgrave and his contributors do not claim to provide definitive answers to these questions, but rather they further a necessary dialogue and show that, while Christian and Islamic understandings of God may differ sharply and perhaps irreducibly, the acknowledgment of one another as people of faith is the surest ground on which to build trust, friendship, and cooperation.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-731-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Participants
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. About the Seminar
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction Muslims, Christians, and the Common Good
    (pp. 1-2)
    Michael Ipgrave

    This volume presents a record of the fourth in the Building Bridges series of international Christian–Muslim seminars, held in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 15–18, 2005.¹ Convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury and jointly hosted by Dr. Mustafa Ceric; Rais al-Ulama of the Muslim community of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Metropolitan Nikolaj of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Dabar-Bosnia; and Cardinal Vilko Puljic, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sarajevo, the theme of the seminar was “Muslims, Christians, and the Common Good.” The participants, who met for three days of public lectures and private conversations, had brought home to them the particular poignancy and...

  6. Chapter 1 Believers and Citizens
    (pp. 3-68)
    Maleiha Malik, Michael Nazir-Ali, Mato Zovkic, Bogdan Lubardič, Zaki Badawi and Michael Ipgrave

    How do two senses of belonging relate—to a universal religion and to a particular society? How do two senses of allegiance relate—to God and to a state? How do two senses of identity relate—as believers and as citizens? These questions have been posed throughout both Christian and Muslim history, and a variety of answers have been given to them. Context has been a critically important factor in shaping not only the answers but also, prior to that, the very way in which the questions are shaped, as the following essays and presentations demonstrate.

    It may be generally...

  7. Chapter 2 Seeking the Common Good
    (pp. 69-128)
    Tariq Ramadan, John Langan, Fikret Karcic, Vladimir Ciric, Mohammad Hashim Kamali and John Azumah

    For Christians and for Muslims, religion is not just a question of belonging to a community; it is also a force that seeks to contribute to the transformation of society. Muslims and Christians alike know themselves to be mandated by divine imperatives, informed by divine values, which must be offered to the task of reshaping the world in which they live. It is questionable indeed whether the process of interpretation and application that enables this can be straightforward even in religiously homogeneous contexts; it certainly is much more complex in societies marked by both religious diversity and a measure of...

  8. Chapter 3 Caring Together for the World We Share
    (pp. 129-174)
    Rowan Williams, Timothy J. Winter, Ellen F. Davis and Aref Ali Nayed

    The four essays presented in this chapter all address, in light of the Christian and Muslim faiths, the interaction of human communities with the world all share. While rooted in the distinctive affirmations of their respective religious traditions, all four can be described as being in the broad sense ecumenical in that their field of vision is the whole inhabited world, the oikoumene. Moreover, they focus on two particularly urgent areas of concern that arise from humans’ dwelling together in the shared home, the oikos, which is the world. Thus Rowan Williams and Tim Winter both tackle the theological challenge...

  9. Conclusion Building Bridges in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    (pp. 175-178)
    Michael Ipgrave

    The image of “building a bridge” is in Bosnia-Herzegovina most powerfully associated with the beautiful Old Bridge in Mostar, which the seminar visited on its final day. Built across the Neretva River by the Ottoman architect Hajrudin in 1557, the bridge was famed throughout the region, praised by poets and painted by artists:

    This bridge was built as an arch of a rainbow

    Dear God, is there anything alike in the world?¹

    When the Old Bridge was destroyed in warfare in 1993, the general responsible is said to have responded with grim humor to those who remonstrated against the removal...

  10. Index
    (pp. 179-190)