Recently, I wrote for Catholic News Service about Catholic-Muslim dialogue and the important strides we’ve made since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate during the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
In the article, I draw attention to the Church’s teaching that Catholics and Muslims, despite their differences, believe in the same God. Read an excerpt of the piece below, and find the full article here.
St. John Paul II was a pioneer … seeking to communicate the Catholic esteem for Muslims and the commonalities we share in his audiences with them around the world.
The Vatican and national bishops’ conferences have also instituted regular, formal dialogues between Catholic and Muslim leaders, which serve as contexts for mutual learning and improved understanding.
This push for dialogue has been welcomed by Muslims and met with enthusiasm, who themselves find the impetus for interfaith collaboration in the Quran’s affirmation that God created humanity so that they could “get to know one another.”
“Catholics and Muslims: We believe in the same God” (CNS)
How should Catholics relate to Muslims? What does the Catholic Church say about Muslims and their faith? What can we do to combat misunderstanding and discrimination that often faces Muslims in Christian communities?
I talked to Catholic News Service about these questions for a new video on Catholic-Muslim dialogue, part of their series of videos about interreligious dialogue fifty years after Vatican II:
Here are excerpts from the Second Vatican Council’s documents that have to do with Muslims:
“…the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind…” (Lumen Gentium 16)
“The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.” (Nostra Aetate 3)
Do Christians and Muslims believe in the same God? How are Christianity and Islam similar, and how are they different? What is the point of interfaith dialogue?
These are just some of the questions addressed in Finding Jesus among Muslims, an urgent and award-winning book from Catholic author Jordan Denari Duffner. Drawing from church teaching, the stories of saints and martyrs, and her extensive professional and personal experience living among Muslims in both the United States and the Middle East, Duffner introduces readers to Islam and tackles key issues in Muslim-Christian relations. She demonstrates that, rather than pulling Christians away from their faith, dialogue with Muslims can help Christians deepen their relationship with God.
Learn more about Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic on this site.