In the current issue, the editorial staff of Islamochristiana has proposed an ambitious theme: an overview of ‘how’ Islamic universities and Islamic institutions of higher education teach about the other religions. The interesting contributions offer a brief but significant panorama that touches different geographical regions, showing a common orientation of the growing openness of the Islamic world in dialogue with other religions.
Morteza Karimi presents in details the academic structure of the prestigious University of Religions and Denominations (URD), in Qom, Iran; Assem Hefni describes the history and gradual transformation of Al-Azhar, the great and prestigious Sunni university in Egypt; Albertus Bagus Laksana focuses on Islamic institutions of higher education in Indonesia; Felix Körner examines the complex situation of Islamic theological orientations in Turkey and their relationship with “Western” theology.
In the section dedicated to Islamic-Christian Dialogue throughout history, Hisham Mostein asks whether Patriarch Timothy I, in his famous dialogue with al-Mahdi, the third Abbasid caliph, truly affirmed Muḥammad as a prophet; Antonio Cuciniello examines a fatwā by al-Suyūṭī concerning the return of Jesus before the final judgement and the rules (aḥkām) he will follow; Christopher Clohessy places the biblical account of the finger writing upon a wall the divine judgement of Belshazzar in dialogue with Shiite and Sunni ḥadīṯ texts. For the section on Contemporary Dialogue, Cardinal Michael L. Fitzgerald returns to the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Coexistence to present further developments and possible applications; Ignazio De Francesco, moving from the Italian publication of a text by a noted Israeli scholar, presents the historical and contemporary approach of Jewish culture towards Islam; Mariangela Laviano analyses the thought of the Moroccan thinker Muḥammad ‘Ābid al-Ǧābirī regarding “official” Christianity; finally, Almudena Soler Sánchez dedicates her study to the contribution of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.
The long Notes and Documents section, completed by a special Dossier on Pope Francis’ voyage to Iraq, gathers a rich harvest of meetings, statements and documents that recount the progress in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims in the world. The issue closes with a fine collection of Reviews and some short presentations of Books received from the PISAI library.