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Religion and Society

Maurice Borrmans, "Cristiani e musulmani, quattro precursori di un dialogo possibile"

Silvana Jellici Formilan

Maurice Borrmans

 

, Cristiani e musulmani, quattro precursori di un dialogo possibile Massignon, Abd-el Jalil, Gardet, e Anawati, ("Christians and Muslims, four forunners of a possible dialogue, Massignon, Abd-el Jalil, Gardet and Anwati

 

").

 

The complexities of today's economic and social problems in Europe's ethnically and religiously pluralistic societies have great repercussions on the capacity and possibilities different cultures and religions have to integrate. It is therefore necessary to pay close attention to what can help various communities and peoples engage in dialogue at every level, and develop every opportunity to work together.

 

Undoubtedly one of the most urgent dialogues is the one between Muslims and Christians for today they are increasingly close and interdependent.

 

Indeed inter-faith dialogue is possible and desirable; mutual knowledge is necessary and enriching; and working together in the pursuit of goals like peace, solidarity and peaceful coexistence is a must if we want to build a new European home.

 

If the realities of daily life push towards solving problems of employment and integration, a dialogue between the two religions in the theological and spiritual fields is increasingly important to help both sides look at each other with equanimity and mutual respect.

 

For this reason "Cristiani e musulmani, quattro precursori di un dialogo possibile, Massignon, Abd-el Jalil, Gardet, Anawati" (Urbaniana University Press), by Fr Maurizio Borrmans, of the Congregation of the White Fathers, is a particularly stimulating, useful and easy to read text.

 

A well-known Islam expert who taught at Rome's Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies and editor from 1975 till 2004 of the journal Islamochristiana, Father Borrmans is the author of many books an Islamic-Christian dialogue. A tireless lecturer and a fine observer of the Muslim world and inter-faith dialogue, he has had wide range of contacts with Muslim and Roman Catholic leaders.

 

In this book he focused his attention on four intellectuals from the past century, whose great courage, deep spirituality and prophetic sensibility enhanced mutual understanding between Muslims and Christians. Through their research but especially through their own life experiences, they laid down a path whereby we can know, compare and accept the values of Islam. In so doing they contributed to the background work that led to the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate.

 

In a concise but richly detailed way the author tells us the story of their lives, how their ideas evolved, what they witnessed as well as their encounters with the Muslim world. At the end of each chapter he also provides a short but interesting bio-bibliographic profile.

 

This is a read for anyone interested in interfaith dialogue or in further developing the paths that in both religions lead to the one ineffable mystery of God.

 

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