Challenges To Effective Muslim Christian Dialogue Theology Religion

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One of the biggest obstructions to meaningful and permanent relationship between Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria is what Philipp W. Hildmann describes as blind fanatism bing among Christians and Muslims. Both Christianity and Islam lay claim to the ownership of absolute truths. Each sees itself normatively as the most superior faith on Earth. The bing sturdy competition between these two faiths is worsened when both find themselves runing in the same infinite, as is the instance in Northern Nigeria. Hildman poses a poignant and critical inquiry that requires some psyche seeking between Muslims and Christians. He asks, “ what should be the terminal intent of a duologue between two revealed faiths that are per se intolerant and each have their ain claim to absoluteness, peculiarly sing the fact that both compete in their several absolute, revealed and metaphysical spiritual truth with mention to disclosure and redemption? ”[ 2 ]This inquiry brings us to the bosom of the focal point of this chapter, viz. the inclination toward exclusivism demonstrated pervasively by many Muslims and Christians in Northern Nigeria.

Jan Assmann, the Egyptologist argues that faiths that hold on to the divinity of “ sole ” monotheism ( “ No other Gods! ” or “ No God but God! ” )[ 3 ]frequently tend toward intolerance of other faiths.[ 4 ]Harmonizing to him monotheism in early history of Israel was based on exclusivist stance and constantly promoted and engendered force.[ 5 ]Therefore representing a logical ancestor to “ the moving ridge of sacredly motivated force that is soon falling on the universe. ”[ 6 ]His ideas on the intolerance and leaning toward force of monotheistic faiths merely affirm David Hume ‘s similar averment in the 18th century. Hume had vigorous argued that monotheism so promotes and engenders violent leaning.[ 7 ]Assmann, nevertheless, pointedly argues, “ Monotheism, every bit far as its scriptural self-portrait is concerned, is a faith with leanings towards internal instead than external force. This is what makes the survey of pertinent text so interesting despite the fact that they have lost involvement in the context of Jewish and Christian exegesis. ”[ 8 ]Assmann goes at length with scriptural texts to buttress this point. He recognized historical groundss of force against non-Jews ( or non-Israelites, as the instance may be ) in defence of monotheism, but insists that the greater figure of violent activities were geared toward the Judaic people.[ 9 ]

Very incontrovertible grounds of how the construct of monotheism in early Israelite faith engendered and advocated force is to be found in Exodus 32-26-28 and Deuteronomy 13:7-10, “ Should your brother, your female parent ‘s boy, or your boy or your girl or the married woman of your bosom or your comrade who is like your ain ego aˆ¦you shall non commiseration and shall non screen him. But you shall certainly kill him. ” Assmann reflecting on the above text concludes, “ one can follow this linguistic communication of force to Assyrian trueness curses. The Assyrian Empire demanded absolute trueness from its lieges, including such signifiers of idea control as descrying out one ‘s friends and neighbours and denouncing and prosecuting them in the event that they expressed unpatriotic ideas. ”[ 10 ]

Assmann reading through the early Israelite compact demand of absolute trueness to monotheistic patterns inquiries, “ did they non, possibly, pay excessively high a award in taking the Assyrian thought of political exclusivity – you shall non hold other masters beside me – as a theoretical account of spiritual exclusivity and thereby politicising both the construct of God and the new thought of faith? ”[ 11 ]In position of what existent monotheism must stand for, Assmann ‘s inquiry is rather rhetorical. However, his point underscores the political ancestor of the deuteronomic construct of monotheism, which the people of Israel were enjoined to encompass.

To detect the injunction of monotheism, harmonizing to early Israelite history, the Hebrewss were required to be wholly sole and intolerant of any thought or pattern of a different God. Hence the injunction of Ex. 34:12-15 became necessary, “ Watch yourself, lest you seal a compact with the dweller of the land against which you come, lest he be a trap in your thick. For their communion tables you shall shatter and their pillars you shall nail and their cultic poles you shall cut downaˆ¦ for the LORD, His name is Jealous, a covetous God he isaˆ¦ . ” With this worldview, Israelites were doctrinally programmed to be hostile toward members of their ain group who were attracted to different faith traditions. This outlook lived with them through the expatriate and return from expatriate. However, Assmann agrees with Othmar Keel that the early Judaic scriptural monotheism of Deuteronomy is an “ immature monotheism. ”[ 12 ]Because as Assmann affirms with Keel, “ the God of true monotheism is free of green-eyed monster because he has no challengers. ”[ 13 ]

Many historiographers of Israelite or Judaic faith have argued that their sole and sturdy rejection of other faith traditions was a necessary measure to avoid the extinction of their faith, given the omnipresent presence of foreign faiths among them. Such austere and negative mention to the faith of their neighbours, bred animus and even hatred of those faiths and their patterns.[ 14 ]Again, such sole or “ immature ” monotheism reflected a deuteronomic theological premise. Judas Maccabees subsequently invoked that totalising and fundamentalist paradigm during the rebellion in 1 Maccabees.[ 15 ]

That apprehension of sole totalising monotheism or “ immature ” monotheism is surely evoked by many exclusivists in both the Christian and Muslim cantonments in Northern Nigeria. The fundamentalists in both faith traditions hold an apprehension of monotheism that is propelled toward binary lingual look, which besides engenders totalising inclination. Acerate leaf to state, such worldview is non merely negative toward the other, it besides has small or no tolerance for the other. And the other for the exclusivist fundamentalist does non hold to be people of different spiritual traditions, they may really be members of the exclusivist ‘s ain religion, who choose to keep different theological or doctrinal positions from him. This explains for the countless intra-Muslim struggles and the intra-Christian animus that has been traveling on for decennaries in Northern Nigeria and besides globally.

We are farther reminded that “ The Maccabean wars non merely supply the first cases of spiritual warfare, or ardor, but besides the purest signifier of inactive zealotism, viz. , martyrdom. ”[ 16 ]Buttressing the danger of this development, Assmann observes, “ The preparedness to decease for the jurisprudence is the look of the same sort of ardor as the preparedness to kill for it. ”[ 17 ]Therefore, the violent overzealous operates with indistinguishable mentality as the 1 who willingly offers her or his life for her or his faith. The incidents of self-destruction bombers today, even in Northern Nigeria, demonstrate this psychological truth most glaringly.[ 18 ]Because, on the one manus, self-destruction bombers are willing to decease for their religion, while on the other they are every bit willing to kill for the same religion. It may come across as self-contradictory, but they are able to embrace seamlessly those two mutual oppositions ( deceasing for one ‘s religion and killing for one ‘s religion ) .

After reexamining a figure of the histories of incidents of force associated with scriptural monotheism, Assmann grounds,

Judaism someway ‘matured ‘ and went beyond a divinity of green-eyed monster

and fanaticism at the same clip that the ideal of ardor, of deceasing for God,

was being adopted by the early Christiansaˆ¦ Rabbinic Judaism managed

to get the better of and go forth behind the construct of ‘zeal ‘ that motivated the

sectarian motions of the Second Temple period and their interior discord,

defusing the overheated ambiance of revelatory idea and transforming

hostility ( with its sever societal and political effects ) into difference and

duologue, nevertheless controversial. ”[ 19 ]

Denouncing the association of monotheism with force Assmann writes: “ Violence – ever understood as leaning and non as effect – is built-in non in the thought of the One God but in the exclusion of other Gods, non in the thought of truth but in the persecution of falsehood. There is no logical necessity for the differentiation between true and untrue to turn violent. ”[ 20 ]

In add-on, Assmann points out that force should non needfully be associated with monotheism or faith ; for while force may potentially ensue from monotheism or faith, it should non be seen as a necessary effect from faith. He argues that the usage of force in faith comes from the politicization of faith. Therefore, “ a faith that uses force fails to carry through its proper mission in this universe and remains entangled in the domain of the political. ”[ 21 ]This truism accurately reflects the state of affairs in Northern Nigeria, whether it is in the instance of intra-Muslim/intra-Christian struggles or Muslim-Christian struggles.

Exclusivism in Christianity

Christian religion from the early times in the Roman Empire has maintained about utmost exclusivist attitude toward other faiths. With the interruption up in Christianity, there appeared, particularly among Western Christianity, two classical looks of exclusivity: One Catholic and the other Protestant. The Catholic modern look of exclusivity goes back to the Council of Florence ( 1438-1445 ) , where the words of Cyprian of Carthage was officially adopted, excess ecclesiam nulla salus ( outside the Church no redemption ) . This maxim remained the official place of the Catholic Church in relation non merely to non-Christians but besides to non-Catholics, until the Second Vatican Council.

In response to the growing of secularist thoughts and modernist persuasion for spiritual autonomy across the Earth, many of the eighteenth and 19th centuries Catholic Popes responded with definite rejection and house resistance to any reading of spiritual freedom that suggests for case that people can take non to be Catholics, hence at the 2nd half of the 19th century Pope Pius IX published the ill-famed Syllabus Errorum ( the Syllabus of Errors ) .[ 22 ]This encyclical set out to reprobate and reject the major dogmas of a modern and free society. Among the list of 80 mistakes it cited as condemned are:

– Every adult male is free to encompass and profess that faith which,

guided by the visible radiation of ground, he shall see true.

– Man may, in the observation of any faith whatever, find the

manner of ageless redemption, and arrive at ageless redemption.

– Good hope at least is to be entertained of the ageless redemption

of all those who are non at all in the true Church of Christ.

– Protestantism is nil more than another signifier of the same

true Christian faith, in which signifier it is given to delight God

every bit as in the Catholic Church.[ 23 ]

In the present twenty-four hours it is no longer expedient that the Catholic

faith should be held as the lone faith of the State, to the

exclusion of all other signifiers of worship.[ 24 ]

The Protestants on their portion have persistently embraced the exclusivist place based on the apprehension that redemption is merely true Christ for all human nature. This place is bolstered chiefly by two scriptural mentions from the New Testament. The first is the text of John 14:6, “ I am the manner, the truth, and the life, no 1 comes to the Father except through me. ” And the 2nd is from Acts 4:12, “ And there is redemption in no 1 else, for there is no other name under heaven given among work forces by which we must be saved. ” While some Protestants have modified their apprehension of these texts with inclusive grasp of non-Christians, there are still others, particularly the fundamentalists Christians ( Evangelicals and Pentecostalists ) , who steadfastly maintain the exclusivist attack to redemption based on those scripture texts.

One of the outstanding advocates of the exclusivist stance of Protestant, Evangelical, and Pentecostal churches is a Dutch missionary theologist, Hendrik Kraemer. His place is summarized therefore, “ transition to Christ and his cross could non be minimized in the Christian brush with other religions. ” Therefore for a Christian missionary or evangelizer, her or his purpose should be “ to carry the non-Christian universe to give up to Christ as the exclusive Lord of Life. ”[ 25 ]Kraemer is reckoned today as the “ major spokesman and representative of the exclusivist school. ”[ 26 ]He draws a batch of his inspiration from a fellow Protestant exclusivist, Karl Barth.[ 27 ]

Exclusivism in Islam

Based on the Qur’an, there are injunctions in support of exclusivism, inclusivism, or pluralism.[ 28 ]Confirming the Qur’an ‘s complex diverseness and versatility, Anna M. Gade writes, “ the Qur’an in fact lays the foundation for many sophisticated and diverse Muslim theological apprehensions. ”[ 29 ]The one unchallenged and cardinal focal point of the Qur’an is to propagate and support the tawhid ( unity of God ) . Gade presents the same fact compactly, “ after the cardinal message of tawhid, ‘There is no God but God, ‘ Qur’anic subjects extend out toward many skylines. ”[ 30 ]Consequently Muslims are divided about taking any of the three ( exclusivism, inclusivism, and plurlarism ) theological models.[ 31 ]However, Ahmad S. Moussalli makes an empirical observation about exclusivist inclination among Muslims, “ whenever an person or group has attempted to do itself the representative of pure Islam, it has tended to reject the rule of pluralistic apprehension in favour of the impression that truth can hold merely one significance or representation. ”[ 32 ]

This subdivision of this chapter will analyze the exclusivist theological inclination among some Muslims. Northern Nigerian Muslims find their foundation for exclusivist theological stance in the Qur’an and the instruction of different Islamic bookmans, leaders, and motions. Exclusivist Muslims use these beginnings to bolster their exclusivist and fundamentalist docket. In some cases, they besides use the beginnings to warrant their negativeness toward people who do non keep or adhere to similar exclusivist instructions. Azhar Ibrahim describe exclusivist Muslims as those who denounce “ other Muslims who are outside their kingdom of piousness as impious or confirming a fishy ‘aqA?da ( statement of philosophy ) . ”[ 33 ]Therefore, Qur’anic texts or instructions of religious leaders that allude to Islam ‘s high quality over other faiths or which embodies particular prejudice in favour of Moslems are normally nurturing for exclusivists.

In his analysis of exclusivism in Islam, Mahmoud Ayoub analyzes the plants of reputable Sunni and Shi’te bookmans and spiritual leaders whose exclusivist spiritual places consist of Islamic supersessionism. His list include Sayyid Qutb of Egypt, Abd al-Qadir of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi of Egypt, Wahba al-Zuhayli of Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Mutwalli Sha’rawi of Egypt, Said Hawwa of Syria, and Nasir Makarim al-Shirazi of Iran.[ 34 ]A classical Islamic exclusivist supersessionism can be drawn from the instruction of Sayyid Qutb who said, “ anyone who does non believe in what Muhammad has brought, and that he is the last Messenger, will be unacceptable before God on the last twenty-four hours, nor would he come in into the company of those ‘upon whom there is no fright, nor will they sorrow ‘ . ”[ 35 ]Puting the same thought more pointedly, the Syrian bookman Said Hawwa writes, “ in order that no confusion may happen, we say that there is no redemption now for any Jew or Christian, nor for any Sabaean, Magian, or any other except through religion in Muhammad, that is, unless they had non received the call to Islam. ”[ 36 ]

Muslim supersessionism flexible joints on “ the rule that the Muhammadan dispensation has wholly annulled and superseded all other old faiths. ”[ 37 ]Islamists and conservative Muslims in Northern Nigeria like others across the Earth resort to both exclusivist and supersessionist thoughts in mention to either other Muslims who reject their Muslim places or to non-Muslims who do non subscribe to Islamic faith.

The Yan Izala Islamists in Northern Nigeria draw inspiration and counsel from Wahhabism, hence, they are beholden to the theological presuppositions of the Wahhabis. The Wahhabi motion as an Islamic reformer holds a classical exclusivist place on the inquiries of religion and redemption. A sum-up of the chief instruction of the Wahhabi highlights its exclusivist stance:

All objects of worship other than Allah are false, and all who

worship such are meriting of decease.

The majority of world are non monotheists since they endeavor

to win God ‘s favour by sing the grave of saints, their pattern

hence resembles what is recorded in the Qur’an of the Meccan


It is polytheism ( shirk ) to present the name of a prophesier saint

or angel in a supplication.

It is shirk to seek intercession from any other than Allah.

It is shirk to do vows to any other being.

It involves unbelief ( kufr ) to profess cognition non based on the

Qur’an, the Sunna, or the necessary illations of the ground.

It involves unbelief and unorthodoxy ( ilhad ) to deny Qadar in all Acts of the Apostless.

It involves unbelief to construe the Qur’an by ta’wil.[ 38 ]

As evident from the text of Wahhabi instruction, killing of the other on evidences of religion or belief differences is non merely justifiable but besides recommended. As the direction of their first instruction reads, “ all who worship such are meriting of decease, ” those who fall victims to this injunction can even be Muslims.[ 39 ]

The fundamental law of Yan Izala corroborates the cardinal premises of Wahhabism and specifically provinces that the organisation is non welcome to Sufis as Sufis are alleged to present invention into Islamic patterns.[ 40 ]Among the purposes and aims of the organisation is its committedness to “ oppose any Muslim who brings anything which is non contained in Islamaˆ¦ ”[ 41 ]The Yan Izala are required to support their instruction and beliefs “ at any cost. ”[ 42 ]

There are a figure of Qur’anic texts that embody exclusivist supersessionist worldview and injunction. Harmonizing to Q. 3:7:

It is He who has sent down to you, [ O Muhammad ] , the Book ; in it

are poetries [ that are ] precise – they are the foundation of the Book –

and others broad. As for those in whose Black Marias is divergence

[ from truth ] , they will follow that of it which is broad, seeking

strife and seeking an reading [ suited to them ] . And no 1

knows its [ true ] reading except Allah. But those steadfast in cognition

state, “ We believe in it. All [ of it ] is from our Lord. ” And no 1 will be

reminded except those of understanding.

This text is one of the transitions that Muslims mention to in support of Islam ‘s supersessionism over other established faiths, including Judaism and Christianity. The text highlights the high quality of the Qur’an over other Bibles ; an thought that supports Muslims claim that they have in the Qur’an the most comprehensive incarnation of what God has revealed.

Another Qur’anic text with strong tilting toward exclusivism is 3:4. Harmonizing to this text, “ He revealed the Qur’an. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the poetries of Allah will hold a terrible penalty, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution. ” This text requires all to believe in the Qur’an as a revealed text, failure of which sums to incurring terrible penalty from God. By deduction, since non-Muslims have trouble imputing absolute Godhead beginning to the Qur’an they will be badly punished. The text refers to severe godly penalty for many who do non subscribe to monotheism or belief in an ultimate divinity at the terminal of clip. For many Christians eschatological terrible penalty from God sums to be thrown into snake pit and for Jews, such penalty implies passing clip in gehena. Therefore, for many who believe in a supreme divinity, thought of having terrible penalty from God is non treated lightly. To confirm the warning or menace ( depending on how people choose to construe the content of this Qur’anic text ) of that poetry, in aya 10 of the same sura the Qur’an repeats its warning or menace, “ Indeed, those who disbelieve – ne’er will their wealth or their kids avail them against Allah at all. And it is they who are fuel for the Fire. ” Therefore, this aya clearly identifies what the terrible penalty already alluded to in aya 4 is concretely about, viz. hell awaits all who disbelieve the Qur’an. And to re-emphasise the imminent snake pit for all nonbelievers, aya 12 says, “ Say to those who disbelieve, “ You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting topographic point. ”

As illustrated above with texts from the Qur’an and the instructions of bookmans, leaders, and Islamists organisations, Moslems who are literalists or fundamentalists find sufficient theological justification for their exclusivist place. Consequently, in the big strategy of things, exclusivism continues to supply desirable genteelness land for struggles and volatile dealingss between the exclusivists and the remainder of Muslims in Northern Nigeria and of class between the exclusivists and non-Muslims.

The frequently clear cultural and cultural divide along spiritual associations further exacerbates the exclusivist place held by some Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria.[ 43 ]Existing cultural and cultural differences and even antagonism further perplex the negativeness toward the other ( Christians verse Muslims ) . This is even more so the instance cognizing that the history of their cultural and cultural relationship ( particularly for those minority ethnicities of Northern Nigeria ) was anything but memorable. Furthermore, the pre and immediate station independency political development in Nigeria was muddied by intense cultural competition and resentment. The coals of those resentment, competition, and struggles are still resounding across the state but particularly in Northern Nigeria.

It follows that exclusivity in Northern Nigeria has spiritual, societal, cultural, economic, and political characteristics. However, presently, exclusivity based on spiritual association stands out as the nucleus justification for threshing, disrespecting, and violently assailing the other in Northern Nigeria. While the Christian fundamentalists most frequently manifest the negative characteristics of exclusivism against people who do non belong to their crease by usage of intensely worded disapprobation, ridiculing, and aggressive thrust for proselytization, the extremist Islamists resort to invective and physical violent onslaughts to show their disgust for the other. Sometimes that other may be fellow Muslims ( who reject their doctrinal point of view ) or Christians who are easy and handily regarded as kufir ( disbelievers ) .

Assmann agrees with most theologists that the construct of monotheism in scriptural Israel was still germinating. What they practiced in those early old ages was more kindred to monolatry or even better henotheism. Toward the terminal of the scriptural epoch, a better pattern and apprehension of monotheism among the Israelites was emerging, particularly from the epoch of ulterior Prophetss, when Deutero-Isaiah ( Is. 40-55 ) , Amos ( Amos 1-2, and 9 ) , Jeremiah ( Jer. 46-51 ) , and Micah ( Mi. 1 and 4 ) clearly reminded the people of Judah that the God they worship is besides father to people of other states.[ 44 ]Therefore, the Judaic apprehension of “ chosen people ” ceased to be one of “ the lone people of Yahweh ” but “ the first of the many kids of Yahweh. ” Therefore, true monotheism should non be used as tool to farther exclusivism, but instead it suitably should promote inclusive grasp of the absolute unity of God.

Assmann steadfastly reflects this apprehension:

Monotheism itself pushes us to travel beyond the logic of exclusivity

and the linguistic communication of force. Those who believe in disclosure must

recognize that the latter has put worlds on a new way toward truth

but non in the ownership of “ the ” truth. The truth of any concrete

faith will ever stay comparative non in relation to any other

concrete faith – which would stop up by cut downing both truth and

faith to platitude – but in relation to absolute Truth, which is the

transcendent and needfully concealed end of every faith. ”[ 45 ]

If there is merely one God, as Christians and Muslims believe and fierily preach, therefore advancing the thought of absolute monotheism, it is incumbent on exclusivist Christian and Muslim theologists to avoid giving the feeling that they are still populating in the universe of early scriptural Israelite history, when henotheism was mistaken for monotheism. There are times you hear Muslims label Christians as Kufr ( disbelievers ) as though those Christians are atheists or believe in a God different from the Allah Muslims name upon. There are besides occasions you hear Christians talk about the Muslim God as though Muslims believe in a minor divinity or there are separate absolute divinities for Christians and Muslims.

The Challenges of Exclusivism to Interreligious Dialogue

In the class of my research for this book, several engagements at academic conferences, and insouciant treatment with theologists, pastoral curates, and bookmans in different countries of humanity, I have come across people who dismiss the thought of duologue between Muslims and Christians as a mirage. Philipp W. Hildman referenced above constructively articulates major grounds for the unlikely success of duologue between Muslims and Christians. However when I ask those same people if it is possible that a Muslim can populate really heartily and peacefully with a Christian in the same vicinity or if it is likely that a Muslim and a Christian can work efficaciously and heartily as co-workers in a professional scene or any topographic point of work or if it is possible for a group of Christians to team up with a group of Muslims toward a common undertaking for the benefit of the society, all those I have talked with unambiguously react in the affirmatory. It follows hence that really many people still consider interreligious duologue to be ipso facto an activity of people of different faiths coming together to keep formal treatments about their different religion traditions.

Interreligious duologue as understood today transcends that paradigm. Peoples of different faith traditions meeting to portion doctrinal and theological thoughts is merely one facet of duologue. Dialogue decently understood and practiced among peoples of different faith traditions involves activities, life and working together, every bit good as the exercising in forums where spiritual differences are obviously addressed. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ( PCID ) once known as the Secretariat for Non-Christians in its papers “ Dialogue and Mission ” ( DM ) defines interreligious duologue as “ non merely treatment, but besides includes all positive and constructive interreligious dealingss with persons and communities of other religions, which are directed at common apprehension and enrichment. ”[ 46 ]This papers farther qualifies duologue as, “ a mode of moving, an attitude and a spirit which guides one ‘s behavior. It implies concern, regard, and cordial reception toward the other. ”[ 47 ]In an earlier publication I described duologue as a human exercising, which “ is non between a superior and an inferior or between a male monarch and his topics. It is an exercising engaged in by people who fundamentally understand and accept the equality and self-respect of each other. ”[ 48 ]At his first visit to the United States in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI turn toing a assemblage of spiritual leaders said,

I therefore invite all spiritual people to see duologue non merely as a

agencies of heightening common apprehension, but besides as a manner of functioning

society at big. By bearing informant to those moral truths which they

clasp in common with all work forces and adult females of good will, spiritual groups

will exercise a positive influence on the wider civilization, and inspire neighbours,

colleagues and fellow citizens to fall in in the undertaking of beef uping the ties

of solidarity. ”[ 49 ]

The 1984 papers of the Vatican Secretariat For Non-Christians ( subsequently known as the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue – PCID ) Dialogue and Mission ( DM ) ,[ 50 ]identified four signifiers of interreligious duologue. They are duologue of life, duologue of action, duologue of theological exchange, and duologue of spiritual experience. A ulterior papers Dialogue and Proclamation ( DP )[ 51 ]reverberations these four signifiers of duologue.[ 52 ]Harmonizing to DP, duologue of life refers to “ where people strive to populate in an unfastened and neighbourly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrow, their human jobs and preoccupations ”[ 53 ]DP defines duologue of action as state of affairss “ in which Christians and others collaborate for the built-in development and release of people. ”[ 54 ]Furthermore, DP qualifies duologue of theological exchange as conditions, “ where specializers seek to intensify their apprehension of the several spiritual heritages, and to appreciate each other ‘s religious values. ”[ 55 ]Sing the duologue of spiritual experience, DP sees it as occasions, “ where individuals, rooted in their ain spiritual traditions, portion their religious wealths, for case with respect to prayer and contemplation, religion and ways of seeking for God or the Absolute. ”[ 56 ]Since 1984 when the papers Dialogue and Mission identified these four signifiers of duologue, they have become by and large recognized and in some cases added to but ne’er rejected.[ 57 ]

Moslems involved in duologue have every bit underscored the fact that there are different signifiers of duologue and that therefore duologue is non merely about rhetoric and theological treatment, but includes collaborative actions and joint activities between people of different faith traditions. Mahmoud Ayoub identifies four signifiers of duologue, viz. duologue of life, duologue of beliefs, duologue of witnessing to one ‘s religion, and duologue of religion.[ 58 ]These four signifiers of duologue convergence with the Vatican papers Dialogue and Mission ‘s four signifiers of duologue listed above.[ 59 ]Ayoub ‘s first signifier of duologue corresponds with the Vatican papers ‘s duologue of life and duologue of action, which are indispensable for effectual societal coherence between Christians and Muslims in any society.

However, what Ayoub calls “ duologue of witnessing to one ‘s religion ” is non specifically recognized by DP. Even Ayoub does non sound positive about the dialogic jussive mood of this type of duologue because harmonizing to him, “ the name duologue is used to cover up a nondialogical docket. ”[ 60 ]Ayoub suggests that the end of this type of duologue “ is non to understand and accept the other but to absorb and absorb them. ”[ 61 ]Based on the functional apprehension of duologue by middlemans in interreligious duologue, this type of duologue has no topographic point in interreligious duologue. For the intent of this survey and for consistence, DP ‘s epistemology and classification of duologue will be more systematically referenced.

In general, the necessary primary mental temperament for effectual duologue are openness[ 62 ]and critical rating of 1s faith tradition or civilization. The manifest end of duologue is to offer middlemans the chance to freely show themselves and be able to larn about the other as the other chooses to show herself. This exercising of the freedom of look, when suitably carried out can advance “ common enrichment ” instead than devolve into competition or polemics.[ 63 ]

In the visible radiation of the demand for common regard, self-respect, and good neighbourliness required of middlemans in any signifier of interreligious duologue, it is practically unrealistic to anticipate exclusivist to be engaged in interreligious duologue without some selfish and sole docket. When exclusivist Christians favored duologue with Muslims or other non-Christians, it was understood as a peaceable device of understanding the non-Christians so that they will come up with better scheme to evangelise them.[ 64 ]Without effectual duologue, it is difficult for Christians and Muslims to continue peacefully today in most widely distributed metropoliss of Northern Nigeria.

Exclusivism as already noted poses a major obstruction to effectual duologue. The obstructions emanating from exclusivist place are contingent on the fact that exclusivism strains and promotes anti-dialogic worldview and premises. Ayoub observes, “ The chief obstruction to true Christian-Muslim duologue on both sides is, I believe, their unwillingness to truly admit that God ‘s love and Providence extend every bit to all human existences, irrespective of spiritual individuality. ”[ 65 ]Of the four obstructions to dialogue listed by Fitzgerald and Borelli, two are actively promoted by exclusivist temperament: closed heads and ignorance.[ 66 ]These two frequently overlap because a closed head is a comfy place for ignorance and ignorance nurtures the closed head.

Since duologue requires unfastened mindedness people who are closed minded have utmost trouble prosecuting in duologue, as an honorable exercising of duologue will badly dispute their a priori place and deficiency of cognition. Therefore, everyone desiring to be involved in interreligious duologue, including particularly the spiritual exclusivists, are urged to seek to adequately cognize about their ain faith and be unfastened to larn about the faith of the other. Comprehensive and critical cognition of the faith one belongs to enables one to adequately understand the strengths and failings of one ‘s faith tradition. Every faith ( due to its attendant human elements and constituency ) possesses some elements of failing. To take a firm stand that one ‘s or any faith is perfect is an utmost irrational and unrealistic place to keep. In add-on to cognizing more adequately about one ‘s faith, duologue requires a desire to larn about the other ‘s faith. Such cognition is the greatest arm against ignorance, because ignorance strains dogmatism and bias. Knowledge about the faith of the other furnishes every middleman with facts about similarities and differences between one ‘s faith and the faith of the other.


For meaningful and permanent interreligious duologue the following are indispensable: balanced religious and emotional attitude ; openness and receptivity toward the other ; credence of possible contradictions in theological underpinnings ; committedness to the truth and openness to different ways of showing the same truth ; and willingness to entertain transmutation through the brush.[ 67 ]All these requirements for effectual duologue underscore the demand to hold a worldview that will suit them, otherwise any attempts toward duologue will be counter productive. Given the overall demand for duologue in every society and the fact that effectual duologue serves toward societal peace and harmoniousness, a status sina qua non for the growing of every faith in today ‘s universe, it is desirable that Muslims and Christians in Northern Nigeria explore chances for duologue toward the common good of all in the society.

Since Muslims and Christians are trusters in the unity of God or absolute monotheism, it is appropriate and synchronal with that belief that exclusivists in both faiths begin to appreciate the inclusive jussive mood of monotheism for all world. The following chapter will progress the divinity of inclusive pluralism as a logical concomitance of the belief in one God or absolute monotheism every bit good as a theologically appropriate premise for enduring and effectual duologue. The Bibles of both Muslims and Christians doggedly learn that all people come from the one God and will return to the one God at the terminal of life for their concluding rating or judgement. Assmann is every bit positive about the positive ends of reliable monotheism, viz. neutralizing the differences among people and continuing the common heritage and fate of humanity. He writes, “ The purpose of scriptural monotheism, conversely, is the unequivocally release, foremost of the chosen people and so of world [ world ] from such across-the-board claims of political power as are symbolically represented by Pharaonic Egypt in the house of serfhood. Israel evidently had to travel off from these oppressive systems of political force. ”[ 68 ]Although the across-the-board or totalizing inclination of monotheism was more of political statement than a theological premise, frequently times as was the instance in Israel, the political docket overwhelms the theological kernel. It is hence imperative that Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria sift through the political aspirations to deliver the theological underpinning of absolute monotheism.


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