Beyond submission

A theological response to Islam

Rudolf Kutschera published a remarkable small book at Peter Lang GmbH., Berlin, 2022.

(Printed edition ISBN 978-3-631-88389-1, 128 pp. The book is also available as EPUB and E-PDF; more information at https://www.peterlang.com/document/1257360)

As an extract and introduction to the topic we present the abstract below.

*  *  *

This book examines central theological aspects of the Qur’an and of Islam. Its four chapters seek to present certain key insights of contemporary Islamic Studies in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist public.

The first chapter examines the sources of the Qur’an, which can be identified both in the “forma mentis” (mindset) reflected in the Qur’an and in textual parallels derived from Judeo-Christian, Manichaean, Byzantine, Nestorian and Roman elements. This perspective casts a new light on the specifically Islamic accent of the Qur’an.

The question of Anti-Judaism in the Qur’an, considered in the second chapter, compares the way in which central biblical figures such as Abraham and Moses are depicted in the Tanakh/Old Testament and in the Qur’an. This leads to the conclusion that it is essential for meaningful Christian-Muslim dialogue that Jewish voices always be included.

A critical examination of the Qur’anic presentation of Jesus in the third chapter reveals its interest in transforming Jesus and other biblical figures into precursors of Muhammad. The theological answer for an appropriate understanding of Jesus in the face of Islam lies in rediscovering both the Jewish tradition and forgotten aspects of Church dogma, which were clarified at the same time as the Qur’an was written.

The fourth chapter presents two little-known views on Islam: that of the German Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929) and that of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (*1927), as set out in his lecture at the University of Regensburg/Germany in 2006. With great candor and integrity, both authors try to get to the heart of the theological questions raised by Islam, thereby contributing decisively to a rationally justifiable response.