The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume II: The Words and Will of God / Edition 1

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Overview

The world's three great monotheistic religions have spent most of their historical careers in conflict or competition with each other. And yet in fact they sprung from the same spiritual roots and have been nurtured in the same historical soil. This book--an extraordinarily comprehensive and approachable comparative introduction to these religions--seeks not so much to demonstrate the truth of this thesis as to illustrate it. Frank Peters, one of the world's foremost experts on the monotheistic faiths, takes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and after briefly tracing the roots of each, places them side by side to show both their similarities and their differences.

Volume I, The Peoples of God, tells the story of the foundation and formation of the three monotheistic communities, of their visible, historical presence. Volume II, The Words and Will of God, is devoted to their inner life, the spirit that animates and regulates them.

Peters takes us to where these religions live: their scriptures, laws, institutions, and intentions; how each seeks to worship God and achieve salvation; and how they deal with their own (orthodox and heterodox) and with others (the goyim, the pagans, the infidels). Throughout, he measures--but never judges--one religion against the other. The prose is supple, the method rigorous. This is a remarkably cohesive, informative, and accessible narrative reflecting a lifetime of study by a single recognized authority in all three fields.

The Monotheists is a magisterial comparison, for students and general readers as well as scholars, of the parties to one of the most troubling issues of today--the fierce, sometimes productive and often destructive, competition among the world's monotheists, the siblings called Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

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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.
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.
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

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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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