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Seminar: Do Muslims and Christians Worship the same God? Problems and promises of Miroslav Volf's views from a Reformed Christian Perspective

  • CMCS 109a Iffley Road Oxford, England, OX4 1EH United Kingdom (map)

Steven Firmin
D.Phil Candidate, Pembroke College, Oxford

Miroslav Volf's book, Allah: A Christian Response argues that Christians and Muslims believe in and worship the same God, a claim that has generated both praise and scorn at the popular and academic levels. While I admire Volf's attempt, I will be arguing that his book over-focuses on the immanent concepts of doctrine and practice in answering the same-God question, leaving the place of God's transcendent action almost entirely untouched. To correct this, I will be drawing from the reformed tradition of Christianity stretching through Augustine, Calvin, and Bavink to articulate a relationship between God's transcendent action and immanent concepts of doctrine and practice. I will then situate Islam therein to argue with Bruce McCormack that the same-God thesis is not something Christians should normatively believe, but it is something that they may hope.