In contrast to popular misunderstandings of Islamic principles of warfare and of the concept of jihad, the article examines the layers of meaning of “peace” in Islam and the classical rules for external warfare in Islamic scripture and tradition.
The essay compares and contrasts the stories and significance of the Abraham figure in the scripture and traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and proposes how Abraham can be both a divisive and unifying factor for contemporary dialogue and relations.
Referring to her own experience teaching in Roman Catholic universities and with ecumenical relations and dialogue, LaHurd examines the significance for Lutherans of the papacy of John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2005 election as Pope Benedict XVI. Also considered are magisterial theology and the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.
The article summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the occasion of the church’s 20th anniversary, highlights the increasing diversity in the denomination, and emphasizes the importance of the strong ecumenical work that continues to take place, both nationally and internationally. Commitments to social justice, global connectedness and economic stewardship are also discussed.
In the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War, the authors describe economic and political characteristics of the Arab Middle East, the effects of that 1991 conflict, and Arab aspirations for change. Also explored are potential positive roles for American churches and Christians.