Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas - A Good Time for Abrahamic Dialogue?

Some Muslims and Jews certainly seem to think so!

I want to draw people's attention to a couple of examples of Muslims and Jews seeing Christmas as an opportunity to open up dialogue with Christians on Jesus and on our joint commitment to social justice and transformation.

An interesting post on the Christian-Muslim Forum website highlights a feature in this months Muslim Lifestyle Magazine Emel on The Muslim Jesus. The Magazine asks:

'In a world of divisions, can the man both Muslims and Christians call the Messiah, have the potential to be a bridge?'

Folks at the Forum have risen to the challenge and sought to address Emel's question with responses from Muslims and Christians. There is also a link to an interetsing article from the New Statesman by political Editor Mehdi Hasan on Jesus: The Muslim Prophet

Meanwhile over at the vibrant North American Jewish Progressive Magazine Tikkun there is an excellent reource on Advent & Christmas alongside material for Chanukah which ran from 11th -19th December. Tikkun calls itself - 'A Jewish Magazine and an interfaith movement' - in printing material on Christmas the editors of the magazine explain -what may appear an unusual move for a Jewish publication - in the following way

Tikkun was started as and remains the voice of liberal and progressive Jews. But it has also evolved to become the voice of spiritual progressives of all sorts....To make that inclusion real, we are creating an online collection at of readings and instructions on how people in each of the various spiritual and religious traditions could make their own holidays more spiritually aliveand more reflective of their highest values. We welcome your contribution to this effort—send your submissions to
The November/December issue of Tikkun also reflects this widening of our interests by presenting how committed Christians could make Christmas a deeper spiritual experience. Needless to say,we are not advocating that people become Christian, nor do we endorse the reading of the Bible that claims that Jesus is “the fulfillment”of Jewish messianic hopes, anymore than we have ever proselytized in the past forJudaism. If we proselytize for anything it is this:building a world based on love,caring, generosity,ethical and ecological sensitivity, awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of All Being. We urge you all to infuse that consciousness in whatever spiritual, religious, or humanist practices you adopt in your life. Let’s build that love-based world now, before the global capitalist ethos of materialism, selfishness, “me-first-ism,” scarcity, and“Right Hand of God”consciousness—as well as the endless quest to accumulate and produce more— combine to destroy life on our planet.

There follows some good material written by New Monastic Christian Jonathan Wilson Hart Grove including an excellent introduction entitled A Note to Jewish Readers on How we Might wait for Messiah Together. Check it out!

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