Reconsidering the Prophet(SAW): Christian Possibilities

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Event Name: Reconsidering the Prophet(SAW): Christian Possibilities
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 10/27/2021
Transcript Version: 1

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and thank you all for joining us today

for the final program of the rabia oil

series for the love of the prophet

sallallahu alaihi wasallam

in this seven part series we have hosted

conversations with scholars in

commemoration of the life of the prophet

salallahu alaihi wasallam

for today's session we are honored to

have dr anna moreland in conversation

with president hamza yusuf

president hamza yusuf promotes classical

learning in islam and emphasizes the

importance of the tools of learning

central to muslim civilization and known

in the west as the liberal arts

he is currently president of zatuna

college and has published numerous


essays encyclopedia entries and

translations including

the prayer of the oppressed and

purification of the heart

please welcome president hamza youssef

peace upon you first of all i want to

thank all of you for

joining us in this final session

uh celebrating the uh

the prophet sallallahu islam in this

month of

which in arabic means the first spring

i we're really i think fortunate to be

joined today with

a very serious scholar a theologian

and academic at villanova university i


came to know of dr anna ponte moorland

uh at the dominican college where she


uh inducted there a fellow in in the

college at which is a really a sister


of uh zatuna college up here on what we


in berkeley the holy hill because of the


um religious colleges that are on the


dr ann moreland gave a talk that day and

i was really really impressed with her


and i wanted to uh just i

i introduced myself afterwards and and

was very interested

in her work i i did not know at the time

that she'd actually written a book

about the prophet muhammad

and how christians should understand the

prophet muhammad which i subsequently


and really really enjoyed and benefited

a great deal

from it so she is the associate

professor of theology in the department


humanities at villanova university one

of the great catholic colleges in the

united states

she's been a professor since 2006 she

regularly teaches an introductory course

in theology as well as courses

on interreligious dialogue especially

between jews christians and muslims so

within the abrahamic

traditions her research has focused on

comparative theology between

christianity and islam

drawing upon the work of saint thomas


and she is the author of the book that

we're going to

among other things discussed tonight

which is entitled

muhammad reconsidered a christian

perspective on islamic prophecy so

dr morland welcome and really thank you

for giving us your time tonight

thank you dr youssef i'm delighted to be

here with you this evening

zoom is a wonderful thing it's a very


uh paul simon said these are the days of

miracles and wonders this is the

long-distance call

so uh you know this book is a

it's a it's just despite the brevity of

the book

uh it's just slightly over 130 pages

it's actually a very dense book

and i i am used to reading dance books

but there's a very subtle

argument that you're putting forward and

it's obviously an incredibly complicated


because we have 1400 years

of christian muslim engagement

sometimes violent uh

as in the crusades and also the muslim


on places like uh france and um

and vienna but also other times like

during the period of

the con conviviality that occurred in

spain and

also a lot of people aren't aware of the


experiences during the um crusader

occupation of palestine where there was

actually a lot of muslim

christian interaction and then

there's also another eastern christian

story which is

told by uh dr penn from stanford in

in a couple really extraordinary books i

don't know if you're familiar with them

but what i'd like to uh to really ask

you as a

as an opening uh question is

what what compelled you to to work in

this area

given the vast uh area of

catholic theology that i'm sure you've

been engaged in for a large part of your


great well that's an important question

and it's it's going to be

tempting for me to take up the whole

half hour to tell you what led me to

writing this book because i'm a catholic


i am i'm was i'm not a scholar of the


i was not trained even in comparative

theology but 15 years ago i began

teaching at villanova university

and i taught a course on

aquinas ebsena and maimonides a sort of

medieval model for interreligious


and the second time i the second

iteration of that course i decided that

it was a really

not a very successful course for

undergraduates for 18 to 22

year olds so i kind of zoomed out and

started teaching about the birth and

early development of judaism

christianity and islam

and over the course of 15 years of

teaching that course

theological and philosophical questions

started to bubble up

to the surface it's an historically

driven course

um so i began to write you know to try


answer questions for myself basically

that were sort of

pedagogical methodological and also just

personal to me right i had begun to

teach the quran

in a catholic university context and

i wanted to understand what i was doing

i wanted to

be sure that what i was doing was

faithful to my own religious tradition

because i do believe in the universal

significance of jesus christ right so

how can i teach these different


islam and judaism in a way that that

teach it that respects the fact that

they're living traditions

and that these texts are sacred for a

people you know i didn't want to take a

sociology sociology of religion

perspective and at the same time i began

to be involved in the scriptural

reasoning movement i don't know if

you're familiar with that movement but

jews christians and muslims coming

together reading

the new testament the hebrew scriptures

and the quran around a particular theme

and not having to sort of represent your

own tradition

but coming to the text to these three

different sacred texts

with vulnerability and with openness

with one a set of new friends

and so that personal practice her

religious practice

also began to shape me and i went back

to my own tradition to ask the question

if i am if i'm encountering the quran as

a sacred text

am i becoming a muslim that was a pretty

personal question for me

right and how do i teach this text in a

catholic university context so

i went back and and found

resources deep within my own tradition


helped me answer that question and i

found um

the question that i that sort of frames

the book

is what can catholics make of the

prophecy of muhammad

and so i marry documents from vatican

ii which is a meeting of 2500 bishops

from 1963 to 1965 mary what

um those documents said about the kind

of groundbreaking claims that catholics


in the early 60s about the overlapping

web of beliefs between catholics and


marry that to then a recovery of thomas

aquinas on prophecy

a medieval account a medieval christian

account of what prophecy means

in order to answer this question of um


sort of i build a theoretical openness

for the possibility

that muhammad could be a prophet for


so it's a pretty traditional argument i

use very traditional catholic sources

and yet i end up at a place that's not

at all traditional

if that makes any right no it makes

perfect sense and i

i think that's what fascinated me most


i think you highlight some of the other


at doing this from uh some of the


and even catholic hans kuhn is a good

example of somebody

and i've i've actually read him on islam

and found it very fascinating

uh but i think what you did is is very

similar to

what one of my teachers

who argues that the tradition because of

its richness

we can always find the answers

for present conditions within the matrix

of the tradition we don't have to

be modernist in that way exactly but we

have to look

in a with really in a sense with new


at the tradition so that we can see

things that maybe

they didn't even see it themselves

despite the fact they were articulating

arguments uh that that can be drawn out

like you did in this book

just for our muslim listeners here i i

want to

uh quote and then you can maybe talk a

little bit about this

because a lot of muslims aren't aware of

uh like nostrada

and and some of the the radical changes

really that the

vatican ii initiated from the


no salvation outside of the church


of the of the the pre-modern church but


so the the uh the nostrada

take affirms about muslims they worship

the one

god living and subsistent merciful and

almighty creator of heaven and earth

who has spoken to humanity and to whose


even the hidden ones they seek to submit

themselves wholeheartedly

just as abraham peace be upon him to

whom the islamic faith

readily relates itself submitted to god

they venerate jesus peace be upon him as

a prophet

even though they did not acknowledge do

not acknowledge him as god

and they honor his virgin mother mary

and even sometimes devoutly call upon


furthermore they await the day of

judgment when god will

requite all people brought back to life


they have regard for the moral life and

worship god especially in prayer

almsgiving and fasting

and that's a pretty bold statement i

think from the church especially at the

time but

there have been critiques of that and

maybe you could uh

address that a little bit yes so

there are definitely critiques of both

nostradate and lumengencia which is a

companion document on the ground group

breaking claims that

catholics made about muslims but the two

words that do not occur in those


are muhammad and the quran

uh so it's pretty astonishing that the


the catholic church were to say these


to proclaim these overlapping web of

beliefs you know there are six

uh attributes for example that

catholics and muslims share we adore the

one god together lumen gentium says

and to say that all those

really kind of radical we we share some

pretty radical

claims religious claims the true

traditions and yet to be completely


on the founder of islam to be completely

silent on the document that that that's


by god to muslims right um

i will uh give the the bishops in the

early 60s a little bit of slack they

were operating from a hermeneutic of of

consent right so that um the bishops did

were very careful about the language

that they used they didn't want to put

in language that they couldn't get a

majority vote

those each word in that docu in that

section that you selection that you read

was discussed at length and argued over

at length uh

so i guess i i will admit that it was a

compromise document of sorts right

right well i i and i understand that

process because i actually

was involved in some of the catholic


dialogues at the vatican and i was on a


where we had to come up with a joint

statement right that involved

theology and it was just very

interesting back and forthing

between their theologians most of them

from germany

and uh and and the muslims that were on

the committee as well

so it was very interesting um

one of the things that i think is is

is fascinating to me and and

and i i want to just ask you i don't

know how familiar

you are with some of the work that's

been done

most of it is actually surprisingly uh

was done some time ago

but there's a very interesting reverend

robert hammond

who wrote a book called the philosophy

of farabi and its influence on medieval


and he goes into great detail and

shows uh literally side by side

passages from the summa and and then

passages that were written 300 years


from al-farabi that are almost

identical and his argument and he was a

christian priest but his argument

was well i'll just quote what he says

about his book that

my efforts will have been amply rewarded

if this book enables the reader

to find through its pages two facts

first that al-farabi was well acquainted

with greek philosophy

so well acquainted in fact that he was

able through diligent study to perfect

some of its old theories

and work out new ones second that the

school men

albertus magnus and saint thomas aquinas

and others

borrowed from him a great amount of

material which hitherto has been

regarded by many as a product of their


while in reality it is not injustice to

al-farabi and other arabian thinkers

we should candidly admit that christian

philosophy owes a great deal to them

and i think to buttress your argument i

it has to be fascinating to people that

are fair

to see the influence that uh

avicenna had that averroes had that

al-farabbi had even al-qazali

on some of the most foundational

texts of catholic theology and and i


i can't imagine how

one can't see and and you you quote the

verse more than once in the uh

in the book by their fruits you shall

know them

and these are certainly the fruits of

islamic civilization

that i think were were ate and digested

by some of the great schoolmen of the

catholic tradition

i agree one thousand percent one

thousand percent even the translations

of some of aristotle's works

into the latin world world of course

came through the arabic right so

um the cross-pollination of these

traditions is

has been true for centuries no doubt

about it and i

and i think arguably also there in the

early period there was

a a serious influence of christian

uh tradition mainly from the syriac

scholars some of the great syriac


of that of that time that were

translating the great

uh hellenistic works into arabic that

had a massive influence and i think an

influence that

many many muslims are unaware of um

they we we tend to see islam as the

quran and the sunnah

and yet there is a vast tradition and


what fascinates me and i think what

what's important about your work

is that your i think

you're really bringing the next stage

of a serious engagement and

and and i think that for me

the the catholic church when we get in

at the metaphysical level

when we get into the catholic tradition

and the islamic tradition

the dovetailing that starts happening

and we see this our students see this

because they read aquinas

with our metaphysicians and

and they're just they're flabbergasted

and we've had

two graduates that have gone to catholic

um higher uh uh ed

uh training so one went to the dominican


and actually gave the uh commencement

speech there

when he graduated um and and we have

another one who's studying in belgium at

a catholic college

uh studying metaphysics and so for me

i find it very tragic that there's not


interaction and understanding especially

amongst the catholic

uh lay people

and obviously there there there's

historical reasons for that there's also

i think a fear and you address this

towards the end of the book

where to for us to stay true

within our our respective circles

of of uh commitment

that's right there the venn diagram


very difficult that's right yeah

the overlapping that's right i would add

a um

another element that i talked about in

chapter one which is that

i think tragically so much in a

religious encounter

gets mediated through the secular west

such that um those of us committed to

our own religious traditions

in order to enter any kind of dialogue

in a religious dialogue we have to kind

of neutralize

our heart-held

beliefs and universal claims and i think

that in the next stage of interreligious

encounter and dialogue

there's a lot of fruit to be had with

members of different religious


examining each other from the heart of

one tradition to the heart of the other


and bypassing the secular west's

neutralizing program

right i you know i think the biggest


for christianity with islam is the time


because it's it's a post-christian right


declaration of revelation that that i

think is the greatest

obstacle i think if had islam been prior

to christianity that they would have no


in recognizing and hong koons i i think

he admits that quite

clearly in his book that he he argues

that it's largely prejudice

that prevents us from seeing

uh a clearly prophetic character in

in the prophet muhammad sallallahu that

that is so similar

to the old testament prophets so i want

to just

um uh just look at something from a

from the jewish tradition that you're

familiar with also and just see what you

think about this

um i have a book on jewish theology that

was written by dr k

kohler it was actually he was the

president of the

hebrew union college which is

still in existence and he has a chapter

entitled christianity and

the daughter religions of judaism and in

that chapter he says that christianity

and islam are a fulfillment of the

prophetic words found in zechariah that


quote it shall come to pass on that day

that the living water shall go

forth from jerusalem half of them to the

eastern sea

and half toward the western sea and the

lord shall be king over the whole earth

and in that day shall the lord be one

and his name and his name one

so he says kohler about this that

the leading spirits of judaism recognize

this declaring both the christian

and muhammadan religions to be agencies

of divine providence

these voices these views voiced by


levi mammonitis and the himanites were

reiterated by many enlightened rabbis of

later times

then he says later quote these point out

that both christian and muhammadan

nations believe in the same god

and his revelation to man in the unity

of the human race

and in the future life they have spread

the knowledge of god by a sacred


based upon our scripture they have

retained the divine commandments

essentially as they were phrased in our


and have practically taught men to

fulfill the no hiddick laws of humanity

then he says

on account of the last fact the medieval

jewish authorities

considered christians to be half


proselytes while muhammadans being pure


were always still closer to judaism and

i think for me one of the most difficult

things that i find

about many and and you certainly are not

in this category by any stretch

but one of the things that i really find

troubling about

so many christians including some


is this idea that muslims somehow


another god right and and and the

i mean he's this was traditional jewish


like even though they had and he has his

criticisms of islam in that chapter

but they did recognize the divine agency

uh in the religion i think that's an

argument that you're making in your book

but there are many christians that truly

believe that islam is is a kind of


phenomenon that it's a force of the

devil and

these are the things that i think make

it most difficult especially in america

in a in a multicultural society where

you have all these different religions

and so how can we better address that on

both sides

on on on the muslim side because i think

we have our offensive

uh uh proselytizers

uh as well so on both sides we have a


problem uh of communicating and

especially in a time when atheism

is is on the rise and and and organized

religion is really uh denigrated

and and frowned upon i mean we saw

recently with the uh

the tragic um display on

what was on display in the uh is the

senate hearings with uh

amy coney barrett where religion is just

so anesthetized to use a religious term

that at a time when i think

believers especially of the abrahamic

phase should be

have a much greater understanding of one

another's face

for sure i mean i think unfortunately at

least in christianity and catholicism

we are not raising our children with an

understanding of our own faith

much less anybody else's faith so the

catechetical challenges that we face in

our own communities are pretty severe

so when one's ignorant and that's why

this course i teach is so funny because

students take it because they know that

they're ignorant about islam and want to

learn about islam but they don't get

that they're also ignorant about


so they end up learning a lot about

christianity while they're

you know taking a course that they think

is really about islam

um so i think education

and what you know the work that you're

doing already right uh

education is a is is a an indispensable


of this puzzle that we have to do

together and as you say

we are on the side of the angels you

know given

um the rise of secularism

those of us who believe deeply in our


especially abrahamic phase

need to unite i do think i am very

persuaded by john levinson's work though

at harvard right that we did we also

don't want to sort of

um fall into the modernist trap of of

of liberalism abrahamic religions

together right but i don't think

that's what you've been suggesting but i

just want to raise that as a caution

i mean from your own book i i tend to

decide with

toll uh amongst the arguments like i

i'm not convinced by um i i mean i like

watts i've read watts i like craig

and dell i mean i think they're all very

sincere people

some of them passed on i actually bought

uh in london at a used bookstore uh

dr watts first arabic grammar that had


name and and notes and everything i just

by pure serendipity found

in the bookstore but i think they they

were very serious

in their attempts but they did fall into

a kind of

californian approach to uh

yeah which which i think you're


avoiding and and and i i certainly

commend you on that but

i i mean i would argue that that we

we have to recognize you know the


and they are fundamental i i i'm

i i really love dorothy sayers and

yeah she's great i i'm and i'm talking

about her theology not about her

story that's right i've tried it too

yeah i read a book she wrote called

creed or chaos

which was a very convincing argument


we can't reduce religion to boy scout

ethics right because we could all be

mormons if that was the case

that that ethics is important

but i think stoic ethics is as good as

as a lot of ethics that are out there so

somebody does not have to be religious

to be good

uh ethically or morally but creed


and and that the fundamental

uh creed of christianity

islam negates two of the most important

elements of that creed which is the


and the salvific sacrifice

of of christ on the cross and that

that is an immense uh there's it's

really an

insurmountable uh barrier i think

um but what i would say

is and i think the germans have done

remarkable work

in really recognizing that the the

prophet muhammad

peace be upon him was

was not ignorant of christianity and


the christianity that that is addressed

in the quran

is the syriac christianity that existed

in that area and i think the germans

have really shown

that one of the the orthodox and the


attitudes about that understanding of

christianity that's presented in the

quran is not

recognizing the syriac christianity

that existed in the middle east but the

other thing that i think is really

important is to recognize and this is

something hans kun says and i'll just

from his book um he actually

quotes uh one of the great german uh

scholars uh of uh

of um uh this this period when they were

looking at

the origins so schlatter who adolf


who wrote a book called the evolution of

jewish christianity into islam

and then he and adolf von harnach before

him saw islam as the

as the next phase of jewish christianity

so he says hans kun


responding to schlatter's remark islam

is a transformation of jewish


which would in turn transform version of

judaism that took place on arabian soil

at the hands of a great prophet

and he and that's literally what he says

hans kun says about this

even if we could never scientifically

verify a genetic connection

the traditional historical parallels are


and how can we explain why muhammad

sallallahu alaihi saddam although he


orthodox christology nevertheless always

spoke sympathetically of jesus as the

great messenger indeed

as the messiah who brought the gospel in

his theology and history of jewish

christianity hans jokim shops

taking up the research of hernik and

schlatter and completing it with studies

he goes on

says quote though it may not be possible

to establish exact

proof of the connection the indirect

dependence of muhammad salad

on sectarian jewish christianity is

beyond any doubt

this leaves us with a paradox of truly

world historical dimensions

the fact that while jewish christianity

in the church came to grief

it was preserved in islam and with

regard to some of its driving impulses

at least

it has lasted till our own time and then

kun writes

surprisingly christian theologians have

hitherto scarcely known of these

historical insights

much less taken them seriously this to


is just a really important area of uh

you know of research that i think these

are the two areas that i'd really like

to see

more christian

muslim engagement in the understanding


the jewish christianity that really

reemerges in the 7th century

uh hence saint st john of damascus

idea that this is really a schism right

like he saw he saw it as a schism

and then and then the other is

these areas where both traditions enrich

the other tradition

so where the christians really enriched

early muslim tradition

and and continue to do so to be honest

with you i mean i like

i benefited from your work which is

written by a christian theologian

one of my favorite writers is joseph

peeper i've benefited immensely from his


so i think you're

your challenge which i got from this

book is that

christians do have a resource in uh

in looking at islam in with it with a

more charitable light

um maybe you could just uh have some

concluding remarks about that and then

we can open up for a little

some questions and answers um

sure so i agree with everything you said

i hope

you weren't hoping for some disagreement

because we haven't come up with any uh

this evening

i'm not an historian so the sort of work

the avenues that you just mentioned

would not be

avenues that i would be able to um to do

work and i'm simply not equipped

but but it is true that there is there

are interesting avenues to be pursued

there and that have been pursued

um so that's great and i think uh

continuing the sorts of cooperative

efforts between

muslims and christians and cooperative

scholarly efforts are

are really needed to move forward

we have a question the first question is

as a woman

scholar a female scholar and a


how do you see the quran and the prophet

muhammad's traditions

in relation to women

um that is

a um complex question

that i um

i'm not really equipped to answer quite

frankly um

not being a scholar of the quran and

particular in particular

not having looked at study the quran

with this particular

angle um that's fair i will

um i will

maybe just say that i mistrust a lot of

modern attempts to reconstruct

at reconstruction um through uh a kind

of anachronistic lens

but um uh

but that's all i can say yeah well how

can i just maybe ask you just because i

think um

both our traditions although we do there


great scholars uh female scholars uh

in the islamic tradition probably less

so but there certainly are some great

mystics from

uh from i mean uh saint teresa diablo is

one of the ones that comes to mind and

julian of norwich and others i mean some

really great

but as a as a female

working in a a largely male realm

that's been dominated by males and male

thought do you

do you see any uh you know is there

something that a woman's perspective

that can bring that can enrich uh


i'm really allergic to those kinds of


um dr youssef i'm i'm glad you are

but i mean it's it's something that a

lot of people

do uh but i i'm fine with that and i

i won't uh i won't pursue it anymore i

mean it just depends on

on who the woman is and whether the

woman has valuable things to say

right so um there's uh

diversity on uh on both of those

realms and and i um

i mean what i mean to say is let me be


um i'm grateful that uh

that the women who've come before me in


have paved the way for me to feel as

comfortable as i do

and as valued as i am so

i'm certainly grateful and not naive


about the women who've come before me

and yet i um

i don't want to kind of essentialize the

work that that

i do and that other women do in the


as being contributions from women

i think what's most distinctive about

the human person is our

rational capability over

i think that's that's a perfect answer i

really appreciate that answer

and and i and as somebody who

um you know i i recently learned of

people doing citation counts of female


like to to kind of shame uh


yeah and what happened with the

encyclical the

i read a criticism of fratelli tutti

that just came out pope francis is


that you know he might have um cited a

muslim 12 times but he

never cited a woman and that's a real

problem and it's like

interesting i went back and looked at my

dissertation and i did cite women but i

didn't cite them because they were women

right excited because they had exemplary


and and one of the things just a little

bit of irony here

um some somebody we we did a recent

event and you know i invited you to be a

speaker at that event

and and they were very upset that we

didn't have any female speakers

and it occurred to me at it ironically


you were the first person that came to

mind but not because you were a woman

just because because i think you're

an excellent scholar and so yeah no i do

appreciate that

and and that was a wonderful um

clarification because

we're living in these times where

um you know i see it as a kind of


force that is creating this gender

race and um

class warfare which is an old trick of

the devil

and so i'm 100 with the answer that you

gave that

that that we are whether we're male or

female we are rational

uh creatures and certainly in academia

it's that's that's the the component

although i would say i mean i uh

i have recently been reading it stein's

um essays on women and i've found them

really fascinating so

it is a it is an interesting um

topic um so

if there are more similar verses in the

three semitic religions

and there is a big bond between them

then why do they act like

enemies in the world well that's the

million dollar question

right um because there's so much more

uh there's you know the their the

encounters between different religious

people the factors that go in the

historical the political the

sociological the familial

the geographic um there's so many

factors that go into religious conflict


and i i i will also say i'm persuaded


uh by like bill cavanaugh's work and

others that

uh what we deem often

wars of religion are actually um

politic the sort of political wars of

either the rise of the nation state or

there are some severe political factors

that come in that

make the sort of term wars of religion

realm this a real


that makes sense um

so uh

here um this is a question to you how do

you perceive

feminism in the light of catholic faith

um i'm grateful for the

feminists who came before me like i've

said already uh who paved

the way for me uh i uh

am a catholic first so whatever feminist

literature i am going to read and absorb

i'm going to read and absorb it as

a an observant catholic um

so sort of my primary lens of who i am

is my religious faith and um

it's uh you know it's kind of an

interesting because right now in the

muslim community

historically i think there's there's

been somewhat of an immunity to some of

the negative

aspects of modern

feminism and so i think a lot of muslims

right now are grappling with

is there a space for uh

feminist thought within uh the

traditional islamic and and and i think

and i would i would recommend edith

stein is a good place to start because i


um she really does have a a type of

feminism that's

deeply rooted in tradition and uh

and and again back to the personhood

yeah you know that

yeah recognizing the imago dei

uh that transcends gender right

um that's embodied and yet

is fundamentally um

personhood is at the center not the

right gender

but not the gender right um

so dr moreland not having not read your

book is muhammad's prophecy

compatible with christian theology well

i've been a bad moderator if i didn't

get that

out of you yet but


i think i think people have to read your

book because

it really is a subtle argument and and i

think you're

making a profound case for recognizing a

type of prophecy

but um so uh my book doesn't argue for

particular moments in the quran or


it doesn't it doesn't go to that level

it really does a proprietary kind of


for opening up uh the theoretical

possibility that muhammad is a

prophet for christians then there's a


process of discernment that has to come

into play given particular moments of


so christians could never adopt the

quran wholesale for example

because it's incommensurate different

incommense or differences that

dr yousef already spoke to right

vis-a-vis christology and the trinity

however i do draw upon this

funky category in the catholic church

called private revelation

where the church itself understands that


post-closing of the canon namely

post-closing of the writing of the new


god continues to speak to the human race

and so we've got this category called

private revelation that i think muhammad

theoretically could

fall into this category of god

continuing to speak

to god's beloved community

after the closing of the canon but yes

it is true that that is a

um in my book you really need to read

each chapter because

you need all of the pieces for the

argument yeah yeah

very much so it's not a book that some

some books you can read uh

the chapter independent of others but

yours is not one of them

yeah and and i think the uh you know the


is is uh it's very interesting i mean i

i would for those of people that

that are well trained in islamic

theology i think it's a

it's a very interesting read because a

lot of muslims are not familiar

with the rich catholic tradition and i

was struck

with uh with uh your chapter on aquinas


uh on prophecy because there were so

many uh

aspects of of uh aquinas's understanding

of prophecy

that that are really found in

in our tradition as well um and the

prophetic voice

does not end i mean prophet we believe


ended with the prophet muhammad but the

prophetic voice

um there there's a uh

tradition in which the prophet elijah

said that the

the the scholars and and the ulama

really means not just an academic

scholar but somebody who's

deeply died in in a spiritual uh

tradition um

that they are the inheritors of prophets


and and so they have that portion of the

prophetic voice

and we also have a really interesting

tradition that says

that a true dream is is 146

of prophecy so it's actually it's a

portion of prophecy

and so in the chapter of uh joseph

the the king has a true dream and and

and and joseph interprets that dream so

that type of access to prophecy


on somebody asked

why aren't the monotheistic religions

uniting against atheistic agenda to

demonize religion

and what do you think can be done to

foster more unity

i think we we did discuss that

and part of it is it is things like this

i mean i

uh have immense regard for your work and

and and what you're trying to do and i i

actually thought this book was a

courageous book because i know

i yeah i know how um

and i also understand why at vatican 2

they were

really walking on eggshells because


this is a 2 000 year old tradition

that you know that that

has has held true to these truths for

2 000 years and for

you know to to kind of move into these

other realms that traditionally

were seen as um as so far

divorced is very difficult so i i think

in that way

i hope more people i hope a lot of

catholics read your book

um but i yeah i really do um

the uh yeah

this one is about um the abyssinian


became separated from the western

eastern catholic churches a century or

more after the nicean council

it had more cooperative relations with

islamic civilization it also touts

itself for not being outside of the

realm of the catholic church and


more books than the western eastern

catholic church biblical text

what would be a relationship there that

western catholics can learn from that

ancient relationship about islam

and what can muslims deduce or

understand about christianity from that

um that that church uh i don't know how

familiar with the abyssinian church at

the but it was more of a

it was a i mean i don't know if they

would call themselves monophysites but

the the

orthodox church called the monophysites

they tend to use i think a term


is the term that they prefer but they

were definitely a monophysite

uh tradition and uh they

the the prophets uh saladin his


he said he sent them to the christian um

lands saying that they will not

persecute you

go there there's a just christian king

and he won't persecute you so there are

actually two migrations

uh to the church and and uh but it was a

church that i think the orthodox

tradition is seen as

it was kind of a uh heretical

uh branch but it is i think an example

of muslim christian

cooperation in the past


this one are there any verses in the new

testament that allude to the coming of

the prophet muhammad

i mean muslims say there are and i think

to be fair

christians would would uh generally say

no they would interpret the

the famous in john about the the

paraclete or the

uh he's called the pharaoh in arabic

which in syriac was very close to the

name muhammad

that the word for and which is why a lot

of the syriac christians

ended up converting to islam because

it's it's like

which is for the paraclete so they kind

of saw that as a

as a yeah um does catechism

841 mean the catholic church teaches

that muslims will have salvation

on judgment day regard regardless of

believing in jesus as god's son

i don't know 841 but i don't know what

i'm referring to

yeah i think the question is is do does

the church still

hold to the doctrine of no salvation

outside of the church

no and i i actually francis sullivan

who's a jesuit wrote a great book on the

history of the development of that


and maintains really that

understood appropriately the church

didn't has never really

maintained that particular position

um in its sort of degenerate form but

that's a great book i recommend it

no no real time to go in adhe into it

here but

god wills all of god's people to be


there's a there's a one of my favorite


verses is acts 34

where peter peter says um that

that anyone who believes in god and acts

righteously uh from whatever land will

be acceptable

by god and and and i think that's a

that seems to be a very um


generous but also seems to be compatible

with the mercy of god

so we have a tradition in uh one of our

great theologians

imam al-ghazali

and he made an argument which to me is

very compelling because

we tend to have the tradition of no

salvation outside of islam

i mean there are a lot of muslims that

believe that

but he made an argument that anyone who


seeks the truth and and dies before

finding it

will be will be saved uh

with god because they're not rejecting

because the the word in the quran that's

used for

a disbeliever which actually means

an ingrate means somebody who's

ungrateful in its

in its fundamental meaning but it also

means somebody who rejects

or covers up the truth once they see

it so it's like they see the truth but

then they end up covering it up

so um dr anna thank you

uh they're deep analog for what you just

said in the catholic tradition for sure

yeah i i would agree um

thank you so much i know it's late for

you and uh i

but i really appreciate the time i do

hope your book

gets a wide readership which is thank

you why

why why i read it thank you and

yeah and and uh and i look forward to

the further collaboration with

amir stein because i think you're gonna


be doing something for merstein on this

but um

thank you it's been wonderful to speak

with you this evening

yeah great and uh give my uh best

regards to because i you you seem like a


couple because i was looking at your

your husband's a very um i think

very accomplished uh legal scholar there

at villanova

yeah yeah so

my regards to him also thank you

i i hope we we get uh to collaborate

further in the future

but i would i would love it i would

invite it great

thanks for your time likewise yeah

thank you everybody for tuning in

um i would really request

that i want to thank really dr anna


i think she's uh she's really a powerful

um voice and um she gave a really

incredible talk

at uh at the dominican college that i


um honored to be there and i just

uh felt her sincerity

and i think this book really confirmed

for me that she's somebody that

uh is really uh one of the good people

out there that's doing good work


she she uh she said to me um

you know that she wasn't when i said

i'll call you dr

boyle and she said no no i doctor i


because i don't save bodies and i said

well but the theologians save souls

so it's it's a much it's much greater

uh to be a doctor of uh theology than a

doctor of physiology so anyway

i hope everybody continues to support

zaytuna and we have a 12 000 strong

program i really hope that you'll help


with that so on that note may you have a



month of uh remembering our beloved

prophet elijah who was born in this


and i think uh we're certainly blessed

to uh accept the prophets elizabeth as

our prophets

uh prayers and peace be upon him and

upon all the prophets

and inshallah may allah protect all of

you in this time of tribulation keep


family safe keep your homes safe and uh

maybe continue to be able to spread uh

the light of knowledge

and the light of truth uh wherever we


and with whom ever we're with

thank you

thank you president hamza youssef and dr

anna moreland

and thank you to all the attendees who

have joined us for the rubio series

we look forward to your presence at our

future events which you can learn more


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books mentioned throughout the series

please visit the zatuna college

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jazakallahu khairan assalamu