Attempts of interfaith dialogue often stay away from the more difficult issues and remain somewhat superficial. With his 'Halal Monk' journey, Atlas wanted to go further. He wanted to get to the root of our current tensions. To do so, he spoke with people like Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Abida Parveen, Imam Feisal Rauf, Amina Wadud, Kudsi Ergüner, Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Musdah Mulia, Ziauddin Sardar, Amir Sulaiman, Mona Siddiqui, Aki Nawaz, Peter Sanders, Cyrus McGoldrick, Abdulwahid Van Bommel and many others.
This book collects his most fascinating dialogues at the intersection of culture, society and religion. In between those conversations, some extra light is shed on key concepts of the Islamic tradition and their relevance for today's debates.
Topics as diverse as quranic exegesis, islamic mysticism and islamic feminism are all treated in a nuanced manner. Difficult subjects like islamic fundamentalism and jihad, aren't circumvented but placed within their context and clarified. Aspects of the islamic faith like sharia and ijtihad are explained and juxtaposed with the Christian tradition.
'Halal Monk: A Christian on a Journey through Islam' is one of the most insightful and honest books on Muslim culture, spirituality and theology. A must read for anyone who wants to have a better grasp of the place of islam in the modern world.
** Praise for Halal Monk **
"Profound understanding among Muslims and Christians is critical for civil health of the 21st century, and this book points in a promising direction." - Rev. William E. Swing, Founder of URI and Former Episcopal Bisshop of California.
"The interviews and reflections in this book offer sensitive, clear and extremely interesting insights into Islam and Islamic thought. The opportunity to 'listen in' on the author's conversations is a distinct privilege." - Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International and former director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
** Table of Contents **
ON THE CROSSROADS OF TRADITION AND MODERNITY
Feisal Abdul Rauf on faith, fear and love
Cyrus McGoldrick on activism, identity and righteous anger
Peter Sanders on images of Islam
Muhammad Abdel Haleem on the language of revelation
Abdal Hakim Murad on authority within Islam
Kudsi Ergüner on the spiritual depth of Islam
Dr. D. Latifa on our religious subconscious, the problem of Petro-Islam and the disappearance of mysticism
Abida Parveen & Muazzam Fateh Ali Khan on the rhythmic heart of religion
Abdulwahid Van Bommel on Rumi and the secret of his Masnavi
Amina Wadud on Islamic feminism and reformed theology
Aki Nawaz on religious, social and political honesty
Ziauddin Sardar on critical Muslims and transmodern tradition
TRANSCENDING THE TENSION
Musdah Mulia on divine human rights
Amir Sulaiman on the poetry of creation
Mona Siddiqui on Jesus in Islam and interfaith humbleness