Saturday, April 18, 2015

Colleagues List, April 19th, 2015

Vol. X.  No. 36



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog.


Dear Colleagues:

I continue a Special Item theme begun
last week and provide a book notice for:

"Islam's Jesus" by Zeki Saritoprak

Zeki visited our church in early December
and now his book has appeared in a much
more economic paperback edition.

I hope you will consider this one because
it should help to expand two and three-way
dialogue among the religions of Jerusalem.

Please scroll down to read my notice.


Colleague Contributions - this week are:

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio TX) who writes:
"Principles for Interfaith
  Dialogue and Attitudes"

Martin Marty (Chicago, IL) introduces the book:
"Billy Graham - America's Pastor"

John G. Stackhouse Jr. (Vancouver, BC)
attempts to explain a major shift in thinking:
"Evangelicals, LGTBQ+ and the Bible -
  What's Been Going On?"

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC) challenges us with:
"Do You Hear What I Think?"


Net Notes - 10 themes this week include:

"U of C Tragedy - One Year Later" -
  this past Wednesday, the campus celebrated
  the end of classes, and remembered in a
  very positive way what happened in 2014

"Second Tibetan Sets Self Ablaze" - for the
  second time within weeks, a Tibetan set
  himself afire to protest Chinese domination
  (Radio Free Asia)

"Life and Spirituality of Ste. Kateri" - this
  is a good time to remember and reflect on
  the life of a First Nation woman who has
  been canonized in Rome (Canadian Council
  of Catholic Bishops)

"Global Decline of Atheism, Agnosticism" -  
  the Pew world religion survey has turned 
  up interesting information on unbelief
  (Christian Week Online)

"Pope Remembers Armenian 'Genocide'" -
  Francis provoked controversy in Turkey and
  a rebuff from the country's leadership
  (America Magazine, Catholic News Agency)

"Palestinian Christians' Nine Year Battle" -
  the resentment fostered by the wall
  erected by the Israelis has not deminished
  (The Tablet, UK)

"China Fears Losing Tibetan Propaganda War" -
  for the first time, China is giving evidence
  that global support for Tibet and the Dalai
  Lama is having an affect (UCA News)

"First Nations' University Pow Wow Attracts
  Thousands" - there is growing general
   popularity for Native celebrations in
   cities like Regina (CTV Regina)

"How Christians Turned Against
  Gay Conversion Therapy" - a revealing story
  about a major shift in conservative Christian
  attitudes to gay people (The Atlantic Online)

"Francis Envisions Non-Judging,
  Non-Condemning Church" - the pope is
  putting his stamp on a major image-change
  for the Roman Catholic Church in our time
  (National Catholic Reporter)


Wisdom of the Week - thanks to Sojourners and
the Bruderhof online we learn from:

Anne Sexton, Swami Sivananda, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
Betty Williams, Søren Kierkegaard, Simone Weil and
Dorothy Day

To read them, please scroll down.


On This Day - comes to us from the archives of
The New York Times:

"Titanic Sinks off Newfoundland"

"Lincoln Assassinated in Washington"

"Disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba"


Closing Thought - Noam Chomsky

To read him, please scroll to the end of the blog.


As we start to build our new program,
please follow us by reading to the end
of the blog.

Our Fall Program Planning Begins -
Autumn 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's United
and at the University of Calgary



Book Notice -

by Zeki Saritoprak
University Press of Florida
Paperback edition, April 2015
222 pages. $28.95 CAD
ISBN #978-0-8130-6178-8

Publisher's Promo:

Accessible and readable. Spotlights an
important theological theme in a way that
both illuminates its internal development
in Islamic thought and presents it as a
helpful basis for interreligious discussion.

The topic is very much in need of teaching
and discussion and is a fine example of
'common ground. "--John Renard, author
of Islam and Christianity "Contains valuable
and fascinating material about how classical
Muslim theologians treated various aspects
of Jesus and, in particular, the role of Jesus
in Islamic eschatology. 

"Saritoprak brings new insights from
contemporary Turkish thinkers to bear
on the issues raised by the Jesus figure in
Islamic narratives about the Last Days."

--Marcia Hermansen, author of Shah Wali
Allah's Treatises on Islamic Law. 

"A refreshingly easy read that makes a
complex world of theology and interfaith
relations accessible and enjoyable for
readers of all backgrounds."

--Jonathan Brown, author of Hadith: Muhammad's
Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World.

Few people realize that Jesus was a prominent
messenger of God in Islam and that Muslims
believe in the return of Jesus. Even among
Muslims, it is not well known that there are
diverse interpretations of references to Jesus
in the Qur'an and the Hadith. Aiming to remedy
this, Islam's Jesus takes a bold yet candid look
at the highly charged topic of Jesus's place in
Islam, exploring some of the religion's least
understood aspects.

Examining multiple intellectual traditions,
Zeki Saritoprak makes clear the reality of
pluralism in the history of Islamic religious
scholarship. Actively engaged in efforts to
promote interfaith dialogue and harmony,
Saritoprak thoughtfully argues that the
shared belief in Jesus presents an excellent
opportunity for understanding between
Muslims and Christians. Together, they
constitute more than half of the world's
population, and such understanding may
be a foundation for peace.


Author's Words:

This book explores one of the most important
themes of Islamic Theology: Jesus and his
role in this tradition. Not many people in the
West comprehend how Jesus is understood
by Muslims generally, nor do they understand
the role of Jesus in the Qur'an.

Only about 10% in my audiences know that
Jesus was a prominent messenger of God in
Islam. Only about 2% know that Muslims
believe in Jesus' eschatological descent or
the return of Jesus (his second coming).

The media coverage of Raza Aslan's book
"Zealot", which equates Aslan's Jesus with
Islam's Jesus, drives home my point further.
His book is about the historical Jesus, and
has nothing to do with Islam's Jesus, who
I hope to show in this book is, in reality, not
at all dissimilar from Christianity's Jesus.

Even among Muslims it is not well known that
there are diverse interpretations of references
to Jesus in the Qur'an and the Hadith.

The present work aims to illuminate Islam's
rich theological engagement with the figure
of Jesus. Work of this nature can lay the
groundwork for Muslim-Christian dialogue.

- from the Introduction


Author's Bio:

Zeki Saritoprak is associate professor in the
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
and the Beddiüzaman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic
Studies at John Carroll University, Cleveland OH. 

He is the author of numerous works on Islamic
theology in English, Turkish, and Arabic.


My Thoughts:

There is nothing like hearing the author of a
book like this introduce his arguments in
person, and engaging in debate with his
audience. Several months ago I had the
opportunity to do this when Zeki Saritoprak
spoke to a group of about 60 people (many
of whom were Muslim) in the church I serve
and attend in Calgary.

My notes from Zeki's presentation were
shared in last week's Colleagues List:

The author attempts to approach Jesus
theologically, and from a Muslim perspective,
but with the primary intent of encouraging
dialogue with Christians.

In that regard, it does not require a
three-way discussion which would include
Jews, but Jews would certainly be welcome
to participate.

The book is written so that both Christians
and Muslims can understand it. It is not
so much a comparative scripture study,
or a religious studies presentation as it
is an attempt to simplify the process of
gleaning key theological insights about
Jesus, found in the Qur'anic tradition,
so that at least Muslims and Christians
understand Jesus better.

This exchange would differ from a dialogue
between Jews and Christians. We share a
similar biblical canon in the Hebrew Bible,
even though Jews do not accept the New
Testament as their sacred scripture.

When engaging Muslims, Christians will
encounter sacred texts with which they
are not familiar - the Qur'an and Hadith
(Muhammad's commentary on the Qur'an.)
Muslims, on the other hand, accept both
Hebrew and New Testaments as sacred;
only they believe their own scriptures
supersede them, just as Muhammad
supersedes Jesus as a prophet.

Of course, both Jews and Muslims do
not accept, as Christians do, that
Jesus is God. That would require quite
a different dialogue.

But after some of these ground rules
are laid out, there continues to be
much room for discussion and mutual
enlightenment on the subject of Jesus.

We will discover that, after centuries
of mutual isolation - indeed antagonism - 
we are entering an new era of mutual

This approach is truly a pathfinder effort
in the potentially rich engagement of Muslims
and Christians. It should contribute greatly to
a rapprochement.

I encourage you to locate, read, and
share a copy of this important work.

Buy the book from



Ron Rolheiser
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
April 13th, 2014

"Principles for Interfaith
  Dialogue and Attitudes"


Martin Marty
Chicago, IL

April 13th, 2015

"Billy Graham -
  America's Pastor"


John G. Stackhouse Jr.
Vancouver, BC

April 16th, 2015

"Evangelicals, LGTBQ+
  and the Bible -
  What's Been Going On?"


Jim Taylor
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
April 15th, 2015

"Do You Hear What I Think?"



Students Celebrate, and Remember

April 16th, 2015


Woman and Man Protest China Rule

Radio Free Asia
April 17th, 2015


Mohawk Woman Kateri Tekakwitha
First Canonized Native Canadian 

Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops
April 15th, 2015


Pew Religion Study Picks Up Important Trends

Christian Week Online
April 10th, 2015


Turkey Reacts Strongly to Sensitive Issue

America Magazine
April 12th, 2015

"Background to the Armenian Conflict in Turkey"
Catholic News Agency
April 15th, 2015


Struggling Against the Israeli Wall

The Tablet, UK
April 17th, 2015


International Support for
Dalai Lama Growing

UCA News
April 15th, 2015


Annual Event Growing in Influence

CTV Regina
April 12th, 2015


A Titanic Shift from the Past

The Atlantic Online
April 15th, 2015


Jubilee Goals are Set High

National Catholic Reporter
April 112th, 2016



Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.

- Anne Sexton


Work is the worship of the Lord. Do not make any
distinction between menial and respectable work.

- Swami Sivananda


There is no way to peace along the way of safety.
For peace must be dared, it is itself the great
venture and can never be safe. Peace is the
opposite of security. To demand guarantees is

to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving
oneself completely to God’s commandment,

wanting no security, but in faith and obedience
laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of
Almighty God, not trying to direct if for selfish
purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons,
but with God. They are won where the way leads
to the cross

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


There's no use talking about the problem
unless you talk about the solution.

 - Betty Williams


And this is the simple truth: that to live is to
feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already
begun to find himself, to be on firm ground.

Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look
around for something to which to cling, and that

tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because
it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to
bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the
only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked.

All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.

- Søren Kierkegaard


I cannot help wondering whether in these days
when so large a proportion of humanity is
submerged in materialism, God does not want
there to be some men and women who have given
themselves to him and to Christ and who yet remain
outside the church. What frightens me is the church
as a social structure.

And not only on account of its blemishes. Insofar

as the church is merely a social structure, it belongs
to the prince of this world... I do not want to be
adopted into another circle, another human milieu.
I want nothing else but obedience – even unto the
cross. That is the true haven, as you know: the cross.

- Simone Weil


It is when we love the most intensely and most
humanly that we can recognize how tepid is our
love for others. The keenness and intensity of
love brings with it suffering, of course, but joy
too because it is a foretaste of heaven. When
you love people, you see all the good in them,
all the Christ in them. God sees Christ, his son, 
in us. And so we should see Christ in others. 

- Dorothy Day


From the archives
of the New York Times

"Titanic Sinks off Newfoundland"

"Lincoln Assassinated in Washington"

"Disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba"



Optimism is a strategy for making a better future.
Because unless you believe that the future can be
better, you are unlikely to step up and take
responsibility for making it so.



Our Fall Program Planning Begins -
Autumn 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's United
and at the University of Calgary:


"Jerusalem and the Land of Three Great Faiths"
  October 16th - 31st, 2015

Hardcopy tour details brochure
is available at the church

Tour Company: Rostad Tours Calgary
Tour Hosts: Wayne and Marlene Holst
Sponsored by: St. David's ACTS Ministry
Endorsed by: St. David's Church Council

Talk with or write to Marlene and Wayne

This tour is filled up with 30 registrants.
Waiting List is open.


No comments:

Post a Comment