Do Jews, Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

By Jacob Neusner Published
Do Jews, Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
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What lies ahead for the troubled family of Abraham?Most Jews, Muslims, and Christians are devoted and faithful. Still, on any given day, its difficult to avoid the vigorous and heated disputes between them, whether over the Ground Zero mosque, lobbying state legislatures against Sharia law, sharing worship space, dissecting the fallout of the Arab Spring, protecting civil rights, or challenging the authority of sacred texts. With so much rancor, can there be any common ground? Do they even worship the same God? And can religion, which often is so divisive, be any help at all? Four internationally known scholars set out to tackle these deceptively simple questions in an accessible way. Some scholars argue that while beliefs about God may differ, the object of worship is ultimately the same. However, these authors take a more pragmatic view. While they may disagree, they nevertheless assert that whatever they answers to these questions, the three faiths must find the will (politically, socially, and personally) to tolerate differences. Perhaps what can help us move forward as pluralistic people is a focus on the goal  peace with justice for all.

Endorsements

This book asks a simple but enormously important contemporary question, and provides deep resources for reflecting on this question. As Marty Marty points out in the epilogue, those who presume a simple answer to the question will be disappointed. Refusing to accept only "liberal" or "conservative" answers to this critical question, this book calls for depth of understanding rather than simple answers. The essays bring profound insights into three historic religious traditions and call us to reflect faithfully on these traditions as we relate to people of other religious traditions today.--Ted Campbell, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas; and former president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Church leaders today must take account of the radically changed religious landscape. Christians no longer live in isolation from other world religions. This new book gives religious leaders a substantive resource to open conversations that are essential if we are to practice our faith with integrity while acquiring what one of the authors calls a taste for the fruits of difference.
--Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

In Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God? four eminent scholars of religion wrestle with the concept of monotheism, the belief that there is only one universal deity. They clearly demonstrate that while Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have long acknowledged their shared belief in monotheism, they have wrangled for centuries over who possesses the ideal relationship with the One True Deity. All three faiths have often asserted the exclusive nature of faith across theologies and within their own religious traditions, yet the scholars in this volume have uncovered points of understanding and inclusion within each tradition where The Lord is near all who call upon Him. This is a valuable collection of insightful and stimulating comparative essays challenging exclusivist interpretations of faith and calling for tolerance and mutual respect among religions in the interest of peace and human survival.
--Th. Emil Homerin, Professor of Religion, University of Rochester

About the Author

Jacob Neusner

Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism; Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.