Islam, Catholicism and Modernity: Evangelii Gaudium and Muslim-Christian Dialogue


Christian-Muslim relations have followed a sinuous path throughout the centuries. At times they have provided reason for hope, and at others they have encountered stumbling blocks in the path to mutual understanding. The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is presented on both sides as a new step in the history of Christian-Muslim understanding. Read the full article »

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A new beginning


Evangelii Gaudium goes beyond providing an introduction to interreligious dialogue from the perspective of the new “Poverello” of Rome, Pope Francis. It is, and I feel sure of this, an emphatic proposal for interreligious dialogue to be reframed as a duty for religious communities, and an essential condition to the establishment and maintenance of peace in the world. Read the full article »

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A Muslim response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium


Through his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis has inaugurated a constructive platform for Muslim leaders to enter into renewed dialogue with Catholics on critical questions facing both religious traditions. It is my view that Muslim leaders, in particular, need to do much more to reach out, engage, and embrace Pope Francis’ invitation to interfaith dialogue and solidarity. Read the full article »

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Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the modern world


Since his election in March 2013, Pope Francis has aroused enthusiasm and raised the hopes of many through the articulation and lived example of his vision of a Church open to dialogue with the modern world. Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, is no exception, delivering an even more explicit invitation for the Church to avoid entrenchment. Read the full article »

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Assisted reproductive technologies and parenthood in Islam: A response to Thomas Eich


In his recent blog post, Thomas Eich asks if particular issues of medical ethics are “really only about the issue at hand, as is usually claimed in the course of such debates?” “How strong is the presence of other factors in these debates,” he continues, “which are not directly linked to the medical technology under discussion?” Read the full article »

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Islamic discourses on assisted reproductive technologies


Several years ago I attended a workshop in Switzerland where scholars from several European countries, as well as religious representatives from Niger and the Middle East, discussed issues relating to assisted reproductive technologies. I remember one particular exchange vividly. I wanted to inquire as to the opinion of the Chief Judge (Qadi) of a major Middle Eastern City on the issue of heterologous insemination. Read the full article »

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A conceptual Family: Secularism, equality and toleration


Suppose that we, taking our cue from the case of India, reverse accepted understandings that the secularisation of society is an essential pre-requisite for secularism, and assume that the two concepts — one social and the other political — may be independent of each other. The Indian experience of secularism offers valuable lessons on how plurality can be managed and accommodated within a framework of a secularism based on equality and toleration. Read the full article »

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The case of the “two-minus-one” pregnancy


In post-Enlightenment secular bioethics, the default value has become the autonomy and choice of the individual. But Christian and Muslims traditions are, of course, skeptical of this shift. Unless we critically examine the social context and structures which shape and even coerce our “autonomous” and “free” choice, we cannot hope to adequately engage bioethical issues. Read the full article »

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