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Overview

"Goethe said: 'As students of nature we are pantheists, as poets polytheists, as moral beings monotheists.' F. E. Peters's The Monotheists gives a keener edge to Goethe's irony, and he teaches us again the 'conflict and competition' between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Throughout his career, Peters has been our most comprehensive scholar of the agon waged by the three camps with one another. In The Monotheists he achieves the apotheosis of his enterprise, defining precisely this 'fractious family' in all its contours. The perpetual relevance of Peters's lifelong subject is heightened at our moment in history."—Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

"A work of breathtaking scope! Many scholars write about Judaism and Christianity, or Judaism and Islam, or Islam and Christianity, but only F. E. Peters has the learning, adventurousness, and historical imagination to take on all three religions in relation to one another within the scope of one book. Written in a clear expository prose, these volumes will be an invaluable resource for students and teachers, diplomats and statesmen, journalists and pundits on the vexing religious topics that today seem an inevitable part of political life and social discourse."—Robert Louis Wilken, author of The Spirit of Early Christian Thought

"F. E. Peters has written a magisterial account of the family similarities and quarrels through the centuries of the three biblical religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In these two volumes, he is at once, as always, vastly learned and at the top of his form as an entertaining and persuasive writer. This work will immediately take its place as the standard account of the Hebrew Bible and its reflection in the Talmud, the New Testament, and the Koran."—Arthur Hertzberg, author of Jews: The Essence and Character of a People

"An authoritative introduction to the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, The Monothesists will be especially useful for students in religious studies courses. To the initiates it offers an impressive original synthesis of the material and a challenging reading of important chapters in religious history. Written in clear, fluent prose, the book is never verbose, and its underlying structure is easy to follow."—Sarah Stroumsa, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of Freethinkers of Medieval Islam

"The Monotheists is a splendid work. It will be valuable as a classroom text on the three 'Western' monotheistic religious traditions, and it will also appeal to more general readers who seek to investigate the historical background to the present events in the Middle East. Previous such comparative studies are flawed by comparison."—Richard C. Martin, Emory University, author of Defenders of Reason in Islam

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times - Jack Miles
[A] titanic undertaking. . . . The Monotheists is not exceptional for [its] detachment alone, or for its erudition, or even for its originality. It is exceptional because Peters has created a new genre for it.
America - Daniel J. Harrington
There is no more informative, accessible and comprehensive guide to the beliefs and practices of the three great monotheistic religions than these two volumes. . . . Peters has a great story to tell, and he tells it very well. He writes with extraordinary clarity and evenhandedness. . . . He treats thousands of complex and sensitive topics with meticulous learning without offending or proselytizing. Moreover, he manages to keep the three narratives—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—going at once, and allows readers both to appreciate the distinctive character of each and to see how their stories have very frequently intertwined.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2003 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Religion, Association of American Publishers

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2004

"[A] titanic undertaking. . . . The Monotheists is not exceptional for [its] detachment alone, or for its erudition, or even for its originality. It is exceptional because Peters has created a new genre for it."—Jack Miles, Los Angeles Times

"Historian Peters has long been an astute and objective chronicler of the history and beliefs of the three great monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this sprawling, majestic and elegant narrative, he offers the best study we presently have of the ways, words and wisdom of these religions [with] straightforward prose and evenhanded examination. . . Peters's magnificent book is the new place to turn for a first-rate historical introduction to these three religions."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"There is no more informative, accessible and comprehensive guide to the beliefs and practices of the three great monotheistic religions than these two volumes. . . . Peters has a great story to tell, and he tells it very well. He writes with extraordinary clarity and evenhandedness. . . . He treats thousands of complex and sensitive topics with meticulous learning without offending or proselytizing. Moreover, he manages to keep the three narratives—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—going at once, and allows readers both to appreciate the distinctive character of each and to see how their stories have very frequently intertwined."—Daniel J. Harrington, America

"Peters has done it again. With these two volumes he has created an excellent and timely resource for understanding the similarities and differences between the three monotheistic traditions of the West."—Choice

Los Angeles Times
[A] titanic undertaking. . . . The Monotheists is not exceptional for [its] detachment alone, or for its erudition, or even for its originality. It is exceptional because Peters has created a new genre for it.
— Jack Miles
America
There is no more informative, accessible and comprehensive guide to the beliefs and practices of the three great monotheistic religions than these two volumes. . . . Peters has a great story to tell, and he tells it very well. He writes with extraordinary clarity and evenhandedness. . . . He treats thousands of complex and sensitive topics with meticulous learning without offending or proselytizing. Moreover, he manages to keep the three narratives—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—going at once, and allows readers both to appreciate the distinctive character of each and to see how their stories have very frequently intertwined.
— Daniel J. Harrington
Choice
Peters has done it again. With these two volumes he has created an excellent and timely resource for understanding the similarities and differences between the three monotheistic traditions of the West.
Los Angeles Times
[A] titanic undertaking. . . . The Monotheists is not exceptional for [its] detachment alone, or for its erudition, or even for its originality. It is exceptional because Peters has created a new genre for it.
— Jack Miles
Los Angeles Times

[A] titanic undertaking. . . . The Monotheists is not exceptional for [its] detachment alone, or for its erudition, or even for its originality. It is exceptional because Peters has created a new genre for it.
— Jack Miles
America

There is no more informative, accessible and comprehensive guide to the beliefs and practices of the three great monotheistic religions than these two volumes. . . . Peters has a great story to tell, and he tells it very well. He writes with extraordinary clarity and evenhandedness. . . . He treats thousands of complex and sensitive topics with meticulous learning without offending or proselytizing. Moreover, he manages to keep the three narratives--Judaism, Christianity and Islam--going at once, and allows readers both to appreciate the distinctive character of each and to see how their stories have very frequently intertwined.
— Daniel J. Harrington
Choice

Peters has done it again. With these two volumes he has created an excellent and timely resource for understanding the similarities and differences between the three monotheistic traditions of the West.
Publishers Weekly
Historian Peters (The Children of Abraham) has long been an astute and objective chronicler of the history and beliefs of the three great monotheistic religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this sprawling, majestic and elegant narrative, he offers the best study we presently have of the ways, words and wisdom of these religions. With straightforward prose and evenhanded examination, Peters devotes Volume 1 to an historical overview of the Abrahamic faiths, tracing each religion from its earliest expressions to the 17th century. Although he devotes separate chapters to each religion, Peters often points out the similarities and differences among them. For example, Islam honors Jesus, Ishmael and Isaac as prophets, but does not accord them the same status as either Christianity or Judaism. The greatest similarity, he points out, is the drive in both Christianity and Islam to gain new members though conversion. In his second volume, Peters focuses on the various beliefs and practices of each religion, examining the canonization and interpretation of scripture, scripture and tradition, God's law and its observance, worship, ethics and eschatology. In this volume, he also investigates the traditions of mysticism and monasticism that arose in each religion. Throughout the book, he includes boxed notes for historical asides or to explain terminology. Peters's magnificent book is the new place to turn for a first-rate historical introduction to these three religions. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691123738
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/25/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 8.44 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

F. E. Peters is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and History at New York University. His books include "Islam: A Guide for Jews and Christians"; "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam"; and "The Children of Abraham" (all Princeton).
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Read an Excerpt

The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume II

The Words and Will of God
By F. E. Peters

Princeton University Press

F. E. Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0691114617


Chapter One

THE SCRIPTURES: BIBLE, NEW TESTAMENT, AND QURAN

JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, AND ISLAM are all scriptural religions, that is, they affirm the existence of a divine revelation in written form. "The Sacred Writings," "The Scripture," and "The Book" are practically interchangeable terms among the three communities, and their adherents can all be identified, as we shall see, as People of the Book, which the Muslims in fact call them. The three Scriptures show marked differences, however. In the Jewish-and Muslim-view, God gave and Moses wrote down a distinct and discrete multipart book, the Law or Torah. But although the Torah holds pride of place in Jewish revelational history, God's direct interventions were in one manner or another continuous between Moses and Ezra, and thus the Jewish Bible is a collective work that includes, under the three headings of Law, Prophets, and the miscellany called Writings, all of God's revelation to his people.

This was certainly the Jewish view in Jesus' day, and there is no reason to think that Jesus regarded Scripture any differently. He produced no new Writings or Book of his own, and so Christian Scripture is formally quite different from what the Jews thought of as such. The Gospels are accounts of Jesus' words and deeds set down, in approximately a biographical framework, by his followers. In the eyes of Christians, Jesus did not bring a Scripture; he was himself, in his person and message, a revelation, the "Good News." His life and sacrificial death sealed a "New Covenant" that God concluded with his people, and so the Gospels and the accounts of the deeds and thoughts of the early Christian community recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, and the letters of various of Jesus' followers came to be regarded by Christians as a New Covenant or Testament to be set down next to the Old-that recorded and commemorated in the Jewish Bible.

Muhammad may have had a somewhat different understanding of this complex process. Though he commonly refers to the Jewish revelation as Tawrat, the Prophet of Islam was certainly aware that there were other Jewish prophets, and so possibly revelations, after Moses. But he never mentions a New Testament; his sole references are to a singular "Gospel," in Arabic Injil, and he seems to have thought of it as a sacred book that Jesus had brought or written, much as Moses had the Torah.

Muhammad had a strong sense of the prophetic calling and the line of prophets that had created the Judeo-Christian tradition; and after some brief initial hesitation, he placed himself firmly within that line. He too was a prophet, and when God's earlier revelations had become distorted at the willful and perverse hands of the Jews and Christians, God had given to him, no less than to Moses and Jesus, a revealed Book. Or so it was in its final, codified version. What God himself had instructed Muhammad to call "The Recitation," in Arabic al-Quran, was in fact a series of messages delivered to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel over twenty-two years. Each part was already identified as Scripture during the Prophet's lifetime, and the Book was finally closed only with Muhammad's death.

Of the three sets of Scriptures, only the Quran enjoys a self-conferred canonicity: it anoints itself as Scripture. In contrast, both the Bible and the New Testament underwent a long (and largely invisible) process to achieve a status that was, in the end, conferred by the community.

Three Sacred Books

Thus there came into being three sacred books, each in some sense the Word of God. Each collection has traditionally been regarded by its faith community as a complete, authoritative, and universal statement regulating the role and conduct of humankind vis-à-vis its Creator. History suggests something different, however, Direct challenges to Scripture are by and large a very modern phenomenon, but even in traditional settings each community implicitly contested the completeness of Scripture by attempting to open other channels of continuing revelation (see II/3); by struggling to wrest the authority of the words of Scripture into the hands of its interpreters (see II/2); and in more recent times, by setting next to the universality of Scripture the notion of its historical conditioning-that it was expressed in a cultural milieu that to a greater or lesser extent determined its moral parameters. Each Scripture was, furthermore, the birthright and charter for a community that had not existed before. Each community lived in the profound conviction that God had spoken to it for the last time: the Jews, for the first and final time; the Christians, for the second and final time; the Muslims, for the third and final time.

The Bible, New Testament, and Quran, though looked on as emanating from the same source, are very different works. The Bible is a complex and composite blend of religious myth, historical narrative, legal enactments, prophetic admonitions, cautionary tales, and poetry composed over a long period and edited at some point into a single Book. The time span for the composition of the New Testament is considerably shorter, a half century perhaps, but it too has a very mixed content of quasi biography, community history, letters, and, in some versions, an apocalyptic Book of Revelation. The Quran, as we have seen, is absolutely contemporary to its revelation, twenty-two years in the lifetime of the Prophet.

There is nothing but God's own Word in the Quran, as Muhammad himself could assure the community of believers, though there were a great many of Muhammad's words circulating outside Scripture and with great consequence (see II/3). In Jewish and Christian circles, however, there were assuredly circulating other writings that had some claim to being God's Word but are not found in the Bible or the New Testament. Both these Scriptures represent, then, a deliberate decision by someone to designate certain works as authentic or canonical Scripture and to exclude others from the authoritative list that is called the canon. That decision was essentially theological, and the exclusion of the noncanonical writings, generally called Apocrypha from the Jewish or Christian Scriptures does not render them any less interesting or important from a historical point of view. The Books of Maccabees never made it into the Jewish canon, for example, nor the Gnostic gospels into the Christian, but each tells us something of the events and attitudes of the time that produced them.

People of the Book

For the Quran and Muslims generally, the phrase "People of the Book" refers to those peoples-Jews, Christians, Muslims, and latterly some others-who were recipients of a revelation in the form of a sacred book. Although the source, God, and so the truth of the Books is identical, the Scriptures themselves differed-witness their different names-not only from the beginning but particularly after the Jews and Christians began tampering with their Books, as the Muslims believe.

The Jews would deny flat out the assertion that there was more than one People of the Book, to wit, themselves: there were no further revelations after the closure of the biblical canon. Christians would agree that both they and the Jews were indeed People of the Book, in that their faith was rooted in the Bible, the only Scripture the earliest Christians knew. When the early Christians spoke of "Scripture," they meant the Jewish Scriptures or Tanak (see below), and it took some time (and a major separation from Judaism) for them to begin the process of assigning their own writings about Jesus to the same category of sacred Scripture. But eventually the Christians too came to regard their own books as Scripture, that is, "a Book" on a par with the Hebrew Bible, though in this case it records the New Covenant or Testament that God had concluded with his people (see below). Jesus' redemptive act was decisively effective for all humankind, however, and so there would be no future revelations before the End. Finally, Muslims see themselves as People of the Book par excellence, since the Quran has superseded the two earlier Scriptures, which were, nonetheless authentic. (On the Muslim political implications of the essentially theological concept of People of the Book, see I/8.)

The Bible

The Bible (from Greek biblia, "books") is really a collection of twenty-four separate books recognized by the Jews as the authentic record of God's dealing with them. It is often called Tanak, an acronym for its three major divisions. Torah (Law) is the five books (Pentateuch) of Moses-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Nebiim (Prophets) includes both the former prophets (what we might regard as books of history), namely Joshua, Judges, then Samuel and Kings (both of these latter in two books, though counted as one), and the latter prophets, that is, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets (again counted as one book). The mixed collection called Ketubim (Writings) includes such diverse works as the hymns called the Psalms and the Song of Solomon; the moral stories of Job, Ruth, and Esther; the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (or Qohelet), the threnody of Lamentations, the apocalyptic Daniel, and the historical Ezra-Nehemiah (counted as one book) and Chronicles (again, two books counted as one).

Even when they returned from Exile, the Jews were losing their native Hebrew and adopting Aramaic, the Semitic language that served as the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean. Parts of the latest books of the Bible were actually written in Aramaic, as were later legal works like the Talmuds (see II/3). Diaspora Jews eventually adopted the Greek "common tongue" (koine) as their ordinary language (Hebrew never entirely disappeared as a learned language), and later spoke, and wrote, in everything from Arabic to English and a number of patois between. So there was need for the Bible to be translated. This need produced assorted Aramaic translations (called targums), which often paraphrased rather than simply translated the Bible. A Greek translation done at Alexandria in the mid-third century B.C.E. gained great currency among Diaspora Jews like Philo and Paul, and then universally among Greek-speaking Christians; it is called the Septuagint ("Seventy") from the myth of its making.

Note: The prevalence of Greek-sounding titles (Genesis, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, etc., and the very word Bible) in a collection of Hebrew books is attributable to the fact that they were most commonly cited in the literature at large by Christians, who from the beginning used the Greek Septuagint. In Hebrew the books are universally cited by the opening words of each book's first line. Thus what is commonly referred to as Genesis is called in Hebrew Bereshit ("In the beginning...").

What eventually drove the Septuagint out of circulation among Jews was precisely the ever-increasing Christian use of this rather loose translation, with its elastic canon (many of the Apocrypha like Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ben Sira, and 1 and 2 Maccabees were included in the Septuagint and so became part of the Christians standard Old Testament until the Protestant Reformers reverted to the Hebrew canon of twenty-four books) and the Christians' even looser interpretation of it for their own theological purposes. In the second and third centuries C.E. the Jews opted for a series of more literal Greek translations and effectively discarded the Septuagint. Jerome (d. ca. 420) used the Septuagint as the basis, though with corrections from the Hebrew, of his own Latin translation of the Old Testament, called the Vulgate, and so it passed in this form into Christian currency in Western Christendom.

Sacred Tongues

One element in understanding Jesus' significance is that his intentions were finally recalled in the form of biography, the Gospels, rather than as a mere collection of his sayings. Originally both forms may have been in competition, the narrative biography as witnessed by Mark's Gospel, for example, and a sayings collection like the noncanonical Gospel of Thomas or the famous "Q" that modern scholarship has reconstructed out of the identical, but non-Marcan, verses shared by Matthew and Luke. But it was the Marcan-type biography that quickly prevailed in the churches and constituted the "Good News" for Christians. This triumph of biography over sayings may also have influenced the easy and very rapid transition from the native Aramaic of Jesus and his followers to the Greek of our New Testament, which does not appear to be a translation. It was not important, at any rate, that Jesus' own words be recalled in their original language, and the few times that Jesus' actual Aramaic is set down in the Gospels (e.g., Mark 5:41; 7:24), they give the impression that those who recollected them thought they were sacred formulas or even magical incantations rather than a historically authentic speech.

The issue of a sacred language thus scarcely arose among the Christians, and the New Testament quickly passed into a variety of vernaculars: Egyptian Coptic, the Syrian Aramaic called Syriac, Latin, Slavic, and eventually the entire range of European and Asian tongues. In Western Europe the Latin translation done (or supervised by) Jerome finally gained currency as the versio latina vulgata or, in English, simply the Vulgate.

Note: The Vulgate translation, like the Septuagint among the second- and first-century Jews, gained a status among medieval Christians close to the inspiration of Scripture itself. Its accuracy required increasingly spirited defense, however, against the doubts raised on purely scholarly grounds by humanists like Lorenzo Valla (d. 1457) and Desiderius Erasmus (d. 1536) (see below) and by the increasing number of vernacular translations varying in understanding of what was being translated. Luther's own translation of the Scriptures-beginning in 1522 and often revised during his lifetime-went behind Jerome to newly available and more reliable editions of the original: Erasmus's of the New Testament (1519) and the Soncino edition of the Hebrew Bible (1495). The Roman Church responded at the Council of Trent, which affirmed the authority of Jerome's version but at the same time called for a new critical edition of the Vulgate. This was not achieved until 1590, and had almost immediately to be revised (1592-1598). The most famous of the early English translations, the King James, appeared in 1611.

If Jesus' Aramaic quickly disappeared behind other linguistic versions of his teachings and work, the careers of the languages of the Jewish and Muslim Scriptures had quite different trajectories. Both Hebrew and Arabic were, and are, the working language of clerical elites in Judaism and Islam (as was Latin in European Christianity).

Continues...


Excerpted from The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume II by F. E. Peters Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Preface xvii
Introduction xxi
1. THE SCRIPTURES: BIBLE, NEW TESTAMENT, AND QURAN
Three Sacred Books 2
People of the Book 3
The Bible 4
Sacred Tongues 5
On Translations 7
Scriptural Criticism 8
Who Wrote the Bible? 10
Explaining Revelation 11
High Prophetology 14
Heavenly Books 15
The New Testament: Notion, Text, and Canon 16
The Biblical Canon 18
The Inspiration of Scripture 20
Contingency and the Constraints of History 21
Humanist Critics of Scripture 23
The Old Testament and the New 24
The Arrangement of the Quran 25
The Composition of the Quran 27
The Editing of the Quran 29
The Collection of the Quran 30
Qere and Ketib 32
Interpolation and Abrogation 33
Closure 34

2. UNDERSTANDING THE WORD OF GOD
The Seal and the Silence 35
Biblical Exegesis 36
Midrash 37
An Unfolding Tradition 38
Philo Rereads Scripture 40
Evangelical Exegesis 41
The Senses of Scripture 42
Marcion Reads the Scripture 43
Why Don't We Understand? 44
Fathers and Other Authorities 45
The Glossa Ordinaria, Christian and Jewish 46
The Quran Reads the Bible 46
Quranic Ambiguities 48
The "Occasions of Revelation" 49
Tabari Enthroned 50
Plain and Allegorical Exegesis in Islam 51
The Muslims Struggle with Revelation and Reason 52
Shiite Tafsir 54
Learning from the Muslims 55
Two Medieval Jewish Commentators: Ibn Ezra and Rashi 56
The Great Debates 57
The Reform of Christian Exegesis 60
Control of the Book 61
A Closer, and Different, Look at Scripture 62
Exegesis and Hermeneutics 63

3. SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION
The Great Tradition 65
Rabbinic Judaism 66
"How Many Torahs Do You Have?" 68
Making the Mishnah 69
Mishnah and Gemara 70
Validating the Rabbis 71
Attacking the Tradition: Sadducees and Karaites 71
Jewish Reform 73
The Beginnings of a Christian Tradition 74
The Deposit of Faith 74
Apostolic Tradition and Apostolic Succession 75
Sola Scriptura 76
The Tradition Debate 78
The War of the Historians 79
The Sunna of the Prophet 80
Hadith Criticism 82
The Canonical Collections 83
Quran and Sunna 84
The Shiite Hadith 85

4. GOD'S LAW AND ITS OBSERVANCE
Purity and Defilement 87
Biblical Law 88
The Lesson of Qumran 89
The Tradition from the Fathers 90
The Mishnah and the Two Talmuds 91
Two Jewish Codes: Mishneh Torah and Shulkhan Aruk 92
The Purpose of the Law 94
The Administration of Jewish Law 94
The Rabbis 95
The Instruments of God's Justice 96
Jesus and the Law 96
Christians and the Law 97
A Law for Christians 98
The Sources of Christian Law 99
The Codification of Church Law 101
The Beginnings of Western Canon Law 101
Gratian 102
Catechesis and Catechism 103
An Islamic Catechism: The Pillars of Islam 105
Sharia, the Muslim Way 106
From Prophetic Tradition to Law 108
The Administration of Justice in Islam 109
The Qadi 110
The Qadi's Justice 111
Responsa and Fatwas: The Mufti 112
The Qadi and the Mufti 113
The Schools 114
Shiite Law 115
Ijtihad 116
The Closing of the Gate 117
The Hierarchization of the Ulama 118
Ijtihad Unchained 120
Customary Law and Governance in Islam 121
Qanun: The Sultan's Law 122
Jewish Rabbis and Islamic Ulama 123

5. GOD'S COMMANDMENTS AND HUMAN MORALITY
Values and Value Systems 127
Whence Evil? 129
The Diabolic, the Demonic 130
The Jinn, Shaytan, and Iblis 132
Sin and Atonement in Israel 133
Acquittal 134
Jesus' Moral Teaching 135
Pauline Morality 136
Original Sin 137
Manichaeism 138
Augustine as Moralist 139
Augustine and Pelagius 140
Penance and the Sacramental System 141
Purgatory and Indulgences 143
Who Will Be Saved? 145
The Absolute Will of God 146
The Disputed Question of Nature and Grace 147
Justification 148
Doubly Saved and Doubly Damned 149
The Council of Trent on Justification 150
The Magisterium Restored 151
A Conference on "Aids" 152
The Crisis in Catholic Morality 153
Jansenism 155
From Pascal to Alfonso di Ligouri 157
Muhammad as Moral Exemplar 158
Islamic Morality 160
Free Will and Predestination in Islam 162
A Rationalist Solution 163
Acquiring Responsibility 164
Consensus on Matters Moral 165

6. DIVINE WORSHIP
Shekinah/Sakina 168
Sacrifice 169
The Jesus Sacrifice 170
The Jewish Priesthood 171
The Synagogue 172
The Eucharist 174
Liturgies Eastern and Western 175
Eucharistic Issues: Who, When, and How? 177
The Reform Liturgy 178
Christmas 178
Muslim Prayer 179
Friday Prayer and the Mosque 180
The Hajj 180
Intercalation Prohibited 183
The Enshrinement of Jerusalem 184
Christian Pilgrimage 185
The Western Wall 187
Popular Devotions in Christianity 188
The Cult of Mary 189
From Piety to Dogma: An Immaculate Conception and Prophetic Impeccability 190
The Veneration of the Saints 192
Canonization 193
Eucharistic Devotions 194
Popular Devotions in Islam 195
The Friends of God 197
Three Dramatic Narratives: Passover, Passion, and the Death of Husayn 198
Idols and Images 200
Emperor Portrayal, Christian Style 202
Christian Images 203
Christian Iconoclasm 204
Stripping the Altars: Images and the Reform 206
Islam and the Graven Image 207
The Word as Decoration 208

7. THINKING ABOUT GOD
Mythos and Logos 211
The Theology of Philo of Alexandria 213
Athens and Jerusalem 215
Theology and Creeds: Nicaea to Chalcedon 217
The Muslims Encounter Aristotle 219
Falsafa 220
Talking about God: The Muslim Beginnings 222
Learning to Speak Dialectically 223
An Islamic Inquisition 225
Kalam Matured 226
Muslim Creeds 228
Reason and Revelation in Islam 230
God Supreme: Islamic Occasionalism 232
Ibn Rushd 233
The Voice of Conservative Islamic Orthodoxy 235
Jewish Kalam 236
A Guide for the Perplexed 237
Falsafa and Kalam 238
Received Wisdom 238
Sacred Theology, Western Style 240
Thomas Aquinas 241
Scholasticism 242
Latin Averroism 244
The Two Faces of Truth 244
The Reformation and Christian Systematic Theology 246
The Wisdom of Illumination 247
The School of Isfahan 249

8. FROM DESERT SAINTS TO MUSLIM SUFIS
The Way of the World 251
The Issue of Jewish Asceticism 252
The Desert a City 254
Obedience of the Spirit 255
The Saints in the City 256
The Rule of St. Basil 257
Benedict and the Benedictines 258
Benedictine Experiments: Carthusians and Cistercians 260
Canons Regular and Other 261
The Mendicant Friars: Franciscans and Dominicans 262
Is Perfection Possible? The Franciscan Controversy 265
Military Orders, Christian and Muslim 267
The Rise and Fall of the Society of Jesus 270
The Holy Mountain 273
The Personal Life of Muhammad 274
This World and the Next 275
The Beginnings of Muslim Asceticism 276
Sufi Convents: Khanqah, Ribat, Zawiya 278
The Sufi Orders 279
Sufis in the Service of Islam: Chishtis and Bektashis 282
The Chinese Rites 284
Christian and Muslim Religious Orders 285
Suppression 286
Jewish Brotherhoods in Galilee 287
Saints without Rules: The Hasidim 288
The Apostolic Succession in Eastern Europe 290
The Habad 291

9. LEAPING FROM THE DARK INTO THE LIGHT: MYSTICISM
Face to Face with God 293
The Beginnings 294
The Adepts of Qumran 295
The Celestial Chariot 295
"Four Who Attempted to Enter Paradise" 296
God's Love, God's Body 297
The Palaces 297
The Book of Creation 298
From Christian Asceticism to Mysticism 299
Approaching the Unknowable 301
The Jesus Prayer 302
Hesychasm 303
God's Energies and God's Essence 305
Spirituality, Eastern and Western 306
The Spiritual Exercises 306
Muhammad Cleansed, and Rapt 308
Did Muhammad See God? 309
The Sufi as Mystic 310
The Growth of Sufi Theory 311
Sufism and Gnosticism 313
Sufis and Shiites 314
Al-Hallaj 315
The Sufi Way 317
Practical Sufism 318
Spiritual Hierarchies 320
The Apotheosis of Ali: The Alawis 320
The Fathers of Islamic Theosophy: Ibn Sina and Suhrawardi 321
Defender of the Faith 324
Making Sufism Safe for Islam 326
Spiritual Resurrection 327
On the Edge: Ibn Arabi 327
The Seal of the Saints 329
The Teaching and Its Opponents 330
The Beginnings of Kabbalah 333
The Zohar 334
The World of the Sefiroth 335
Isaac Luria 336
Kabbalah for Everyone: Hasidism 337

10. THE LAST THINGS
End Time Scenarios 339
After Death, What? 341
Death and Judgment 342
The Particular Judgment 343
The Resurrection of the Body 343
The Seed, the Statue, and the Conjunction of Materia and Forma 345
In the Meantime . . . 346
The Cosmology of the Other World 347
Mapping Paradise and Hell 349
A Heavenly Journey 350
Living High: The Angels 351
Angels in Arabia 353
The Vision of God 354
With a Little Help from the Creator 355
Paradise Lost: Maimonides (and Others) on the World to Come 356
Salvation 358
Religious Zionism: Hurrying the End 359
Political Zionism and Eretz Israel 360
The Birth Pangs of the Messiah 362
Realized and Futurist Eschatology in Christianity 363
A Christian Apocalypse 364
Millennialism/Chilianism 365
The Reign of the Spirit: Joachim de Fiore 366
Abraham the Intercessor 368
The Muslim Dead 369
The Quranic Eschaton 371
Intercession in Islam 371
A Savior Returns 372
The Mahdi 375

END THOUGHTS
People of the Book, and of the Covenant 377
Odium Theologicum 377
The Religion of Abraham 378
Who Is the Heir? 379
The True Israel 380
A Fractious Family 381
The Rivals' Charms 383
Faith and History 384
Index 387

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