Online Seminar: An Exploration of the Contribution of Eastern Christian Thought to Interreligious Dynamics in Modern Syria

The Oxford Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies is hosting an online seminar with Revd Dr Andrew Ashdown, Manager of Good Governance and Advocacy Development, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, on Tuesday 16th February, 14:30-16:00.

This paper will consider Christian-Muslim relations in modern Syria and the importance that eastern Christian thought can make to the interreligious context within the Middle East. It briefly describes the diverse historical and contemporary Christian and Muslim religious landscapes that have cohabited and interacted within the country and the cultural, religious, and political issues that have impacted the interreligious dynamic.

The paper will consider the unique contribution of eastern Christianity to the Christian-Muslim dynamic and concludes that the significance of the theology and spirituality of the ‘Antiochene’ paradigm has been under-recognised in western discourse and that, having coexisted within the cultural environment of Islam, it is uniquely placed to play a major role in Christian-Muslim dialogue and the reframing of Islam’s engagement with modern society.

This paper contributes to knowledge and understanding of the changing Christian-Muslim dynamic in Syria and the neighbouring region; a new understanding of the religious landscape; and a door to exploring how eastern Christian approaches to Christian-Muslim relations may be sustained and strengthened in the face of the considerable religious and political challenges faced by both communities today.

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