Islamochristiana 45 'Human Fraternity' is now available.
The central theme of this issue is the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”, signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb on 4 February 2019. Born of an encounter between the two at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican and brought to maturity at the end of a year of joint work between the Holy See and al-Azhar, this Document takes on a great importance for interreligious relations in general and Muslim-Christian relations in particular, not solely due to the authority of those who signed it, but also due to the new vision it proposes: looking no longer backward but forward, this declaration rereads and reinterprets in a novel way the sacred texts and traditions of these respective religions.
For this reason, Islamochristiana is pleased to present readers with a series of reflections and studies that revolve around the themes of human fraternity and the Document itself. At the beginning of this issue of the journal, we reproduce the two official versions, Italian and Arabic, followed by eight articles. Cardinal Michael L. Fitzgerald reflects on the title, the contents, and the relation between the two official languages of the text, before presenting some general considerations about the theme at the end. Laurent Basanese briefly traces recent steps in the Muslim world on the themes of freedom, citizenship, and violence. The article in Arabic by Adnane Mokrani comments on the Document in a similar way, but from a distinctively Muslim perspective: the Abu Dhabi declaration is an expression of humanity’s conscience, which is alive and incisive. The signing of the Document occurred during the eight hundredth anniversary of the encounter between Francis of Assisi and the sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil. Jason Welle offers an articulate contribution on the encounter at Damietta. Two articles follow with comments from “outside” the Catholic Christian and Sunnī Muslim world. Jutta B. Sperber, a Protestant Christian, holds that the Document has a more pragmatic than theological function. Mohammad Ali Shomali, a Šī‘ī Muslim, highlights some of the most significant aspects of the Document. Two twinned articles on the theme of fraternity close the section. Katia Suriano presents a narrative and intertextual approach to the qur’ānic story of the two sons of Adam; Valentino Cottini explores the theme of fraternity in the Bible, concentrating on the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis.
At the end of the Notes and Documents section of the issue, we have placed a short Dossier, in which one may find the English version of the Abu Dhabi declaration and some of the most significant later comments and developments.
This issue of Islamochristiana does not limit itself solely to reflection on human fraternity, but contains other interesting and important studies as well. In the realm of history, Michel Lagarde sketches an animated debate about a qur’ānic hapax legomenon; Ines Peta evaluates Abū Ḥāmid al-Ġazālī’s theory of the imamate; Diego R. Sarrió Cucarella introduces and translates a short treatise by Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq.
Regarding dialogue today, Daniel A. Madigan reflects on the phrase from the Second Vatican Council affirming that Muslims adore “with us” the one God; Christopher Clohessy describes the memory of the battle of Karbalā’ for Šī‘ī Muslims and establishes a comparison with Catholic liturgical anamnesis; Jean Jacques Pérennès presents two diverse and complementary views of Islam, that of Pierre Claverie, Bishop of Oran, and that of the Trappist monk Christian de Chergé; Livia Passalacqua describes the way of the Ribâṭ es-Salâm and the “martyrdom” of hope in three of the nineteen Martyrs of Algeria. Finally, in the realm of Muslim-Christian dialogue “in the field”, Franco Sottocornola describes the current situation of relations between Christians and Muslims in Japan.
A rich series of Book reviews and a relevant collection of Notes and Documents complete the volume.