Many of the Bible’s characters and stories are also found in the Qur’an, but there are often different details or new twists in the Islamic retelling of biblical narrative. In Claiming Abraham, seasoned theologian Michael Lodahl explores these fascinating divergences to discover the theological difference they make. He writes from a Christian perspective that respects the Islamic tradition to encourage readers to reflect on the real and appreciable differences among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Lodahl compares and contrasts how the Bible and the Qur’an depict and treat certain characters in common to both religions, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Lodahl provides extended theological reflection on doctrines held in common by Christians and Muslims, such as creation, revelation, and the resurrection of the body.
Claiming Abraham offers an accessible introduction to Muslim theology and to the Qur’an’s leading themes, providing readers with a fuller understanding of Islam. It will benefit professors and students in theology, comparative religion, intercultural studies, and Islam courses as well as thoughtful lay readers and pastors.
Scholars will find this book brimming with comparative/interreligious and exegetical/intertextual insights from the Tanakh, New Testament, Qur’an, and their commentary traditions. For all other readers, including those wondering if it is possible to acknowledge the revelatory status of the Qur’an while remaining committed to faith in Christ, Claiming Abraham accessibly engages the theological matters at stake in ways that, if taken seriously, will both deeply inform Christian faith in a pluralistic world and transform the next generation of Christian-Muslim relations.
—Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity
In his presentation of the narratives and themes that are shared in the two scriptures, Michael Lodahl demonstrates a remarkable familiarity with the distinctive religious systems of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Most impressively, he avoids clichés and superficial assumptions by illustrating how these religious traditions are more often in disagreement than in agreement over figures such as Adam, Abraham, and Jesus. Ultimately, Lodahl presents an account of these matters that is marked by candor, clarity, and a firm grounding in Christian theology.
—Gabriel Said Reynolds, associate professor of Islamic studies and theology, University of Notre Dame
In a novel approach to interreligious dialogue, Michael Lodahl puts the Bible and the Qur’an in conversation with one another. The result is a fascinating study that shows how the two scriptures often draw upon and reshape the same pool of traditions. In the process, he raises important questions about the relationships among the monotheistic faiths by pointing out their similarities without ignoring or downplaying their differences.
—John Kaltner, Virginia Ballou McGehee Professor of Muslim-Christian Relations, Rhodes College
Claiming Abraham is a most surprising, inviting, challenging, and important book . . . through the pages of this lovingly crafted book, all Abrahamic believers are invited to feast together on God’s word.
—Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia
Lodahl is sympathetic, patient, interested, and engaged, and so offers the reader the considerable assets of personal sensitivity along with a clear exposition of ideas and concepts. I can only hope that his style of theological inquiry will not only advance interfaith understanding but will move theology itself from its deep Western domestication.
—Lamin Sanneh, director, World Christianity Initiative at Yale
Claiming Abraham has recourse to a fine repertoire of skills in reading Scripture and in theological interpretation, to lead us on a journey of discovery of the similarity-in-difference that characterizes the ways Christianity and Islam can be seen to relate to one another. ‘Similarity-in-difference’ is the key, for each will prove illuminating in understanding the other.
—David Burrell, CSC, professor of ethics and development, Uganda Martyrs University
Michael Lodahl is professor of theology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, and has studied extensively in Israel and Jordan. He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served congregations in three states. He is the author of several books, including The Story of God: A Narrative Theology.