Christian-Muslim Dialogue on Integral Ecology
Care for the poor and care for the earth have been central concerns in the world’s major religions for centuries. Despite a long tradition of teachings and practices in relation to poverty reduction and environmental protection, there is little exploration of the rich body of knowledge, analytical insights, institutions and practices which religious traditions have developed over centuries vis-à-vis today’s socio-ecological challenges. What can we learn from how religious traditions have responded historically, and are responding today, to the challenges of poverty, injustice and environmental destruction? This research cluster addresses this question through a comparative perspective between the Christian and Muslim traditions. It is currently arranged around three specific projects.
The Qur’anic Resonances of Laudato Si’ project is led by Ms Farhana Mayer, in collaboration with the Randeree Charitable Trust. Using the highest sources of Islamic theology and ethics, this research reveals the profoundest common ground between the two texts. Its distinctive feature is the recourse to Islamic divine names and designations as an overarching framework. Al-Ḥamdu li’llāh Rabbi’l-ʿĀlamīn ‘Praise Be to God, Lord of the Worlds’: An Introduction to Qur’anic Ecology and Resonances with Laudato Si’ has been published online in February 2023. Click here for a copy of the book.
A special issue on ‘Care for the Earth/Care for the Poor: Christian-Muslim Dialogue on Development’ has been edited by Séverine Deneulin and Masooda Bano. This special issue critically examines how Catholic and Muslim social thought have understood love of God/love of neighbour, and the practices and institutions that have been developed over the centuries to express that love in actions. Read the pre-published Introduction to special issue here.
In collaboration with the Religious Communities and Sustainable Development Programme of the Humboldt University zu Berlin, a third project of this research cluster relates to developing inter-religious dialogue resources on integral ecology for scholars, practitioners and students. A workshop took place in Oxford in June 2022, sponsored by the OX|BER research partnership. For a summary of the workshop presentations, click here. The team is exploring the writing and publication of an inter-faith textbook on integral ecology. See here for a background report of existing teaching resources and courses on ecology from a Christian-Muslim dialogue perspective.