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Eruditio et Religio

Christians and Muslims Reading Scriptures

Instructors: Abdullah Antepli, Muslim Chaplain, Duke University/Adjunct Faculty of Islamic Studies and Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology<br>Photo by Elisabeth StaggIn this new course, Abdullah Antepli and Ellen Davis will help students begin to map out their own journey through the still largely uncharted territory of Muslim-Christian conversation about scriptural interpretation. Readings will provide a broad exposure to the core Islamic scriptures, Qur’an and Hadith, and introduce basic principles of Islamic hermeneutics. There will be weekly cross-text study between Islamic and Christian scriptures (OT and NT). Students will be provided with intellectual, spiritual, theological, exegetical, and hermeneutical tools to engage in ministry in settings such as hospitals, prisons, campuses, and larger communities. Two class sessions will be held (Feb. 14 & March 28) at the Islamic Association of Raleigh for scripture study and theological conversation.

Class Information

Spring 2011
Wednesdays, 8:30-11 a.m.
Limit: 25


OT 11 and 12, NT 18

Christian students are asked to read either The Heart of Islam by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, (HarperOne) or God Is One: The Way of Islam by R. Marston Speight, (Friendship Press). Muslim students are asked to read The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Wilken.


In addition to submitting two essays and a final exam, students will be required to attend and prepare for each session and to submit entries from an informal notebook in response to the weekly readings.

Required Texts
  • The Qur’an, a New Translation (M.A.S. Abdel, Haleem, Oxford, 2005), or The Qur’an (Ali ünal, Tughra Books, 2008)
  • Claiming Abraham: Reading the Bible and the Qur’an Side by Side by Michael Lodahl (Baker Books)
  • Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives , edited by Phyllis Trible and Letty Russell (Westminster John Knox, 2006)

Students are expected to have access to several translations of the Bible for comparison as they read the Christian scriptures in both Testaments.

Highly Recommended

Ishmael Instructs Isaac: An Introduction to the Quran for Bible Readers by John Kaltner (Liturgical Press, 1999)

Faculty Bios

Ellen Davis’s research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. Among her current projects is collaboration with the Episcopal Church of Sudan to develop theological education, community health, and sustainable agriculture. She received the 2010 University Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award at Founder’s Day Convocation on Sept. 30.

Abdullah Antepli became Duke’s first Muslim chaplain, and among the first at any American university, in 2008. He is a faculty member in the Divinity School and at the Duke Islamic Studies Center, and also serves on the Duke Chapel Faith Council and Religious Life staff. He provides pastoral care, teaches about Islam, and participates in interfaith discussions. He is one of the few Muslims to have delivered an opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives. He completed his basic training and education in his native Turkey.

Watch A conversation between Iman Abdullah Antepli and Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel »