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From Islam to Christianity: A Study in the Life and Thought of Hassan Dehqani-Tafti and Jean-Mohammed Abd-El-Jalil in the Ongoing Search for a Deeper Understanding Between Christianity and Islam

Wilkins, Agnes Angela (2018) From Islam to Christianity: A Study in the Life and Thought of Hassan Dehqani-Tafti and Jean-Mohammed Abd-El-Jalil in the Ongoing Search for a Deeper Understanding Between Christianity and Islam. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

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Abstract

The thesis is an attempt to understand Islam from the inside, as a gesture of respect and friendship to Islam and Muslims, in the belief that true dialogue cannot proceed without this. It means admitting the great gulf, despite the good things we have in common, that separates the two religions. Doctrinal differences have been honestly discussed and analysed, with no attempt made to smooth over the difficulties.

Two converts from Islam to Christianity, Hassan Dehqani-Tafti and Jean-Mohammed Abd-el- Jalil, whose life stories and writings form the core of the thesis, illustrate perfectly in their different situations the difficulties, even agony, involved in leaving Islam to embrace Christianity. As men who have known both Islam and Christianity from the inside, their writings are particularly valuable to deepen our understanding of Islam. They present a contrast in that one is an Anglican, a bishop and family man, whilst the other became a Catholic and a celibate Franciscan; yet both in their different ways shed much light on their experience of Islam. Kenneth Cragg was very influential in the life of Hassan, and this is given due recognition as Hassan’s writing is explored.

The accounts of the life and writings of the two converts are preceded by a study examining the phenomenon of conversion from various secular perspectives and, building on the expressed hopes of the converts, are followed by a look into the future which consists of interdisciplinary approaches to the text of the Qur’an as, for example, in Qur’anic Studies where Muslim, Christian (and other) scholars collaborate together to obtain deeper insights into the holy book of Islam, a development which undoubtedly would have been warmly welcomed by both Hassan Dehqani-Tafti and Jean-Mohammed Abd-el-Jalil.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3632

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