Entering Your Neighbour's Garden: Studying Someone Else's Scripture

Annual Joint Lectures 2014


Lecture 1: On the Fear of God: A Christian Reading the Qur'an

Gabriel Said Reynolds, Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology, University of Notre Dame

Gabriel Said Reynolds is Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at Notre Dame. His research is focused above all on the Qur’an and Muslim-Christian relations. He wrote a dissertation on the remarkable Islamic history of Christianity of ʿAbd al-Jabbar (d. 1025); the dissertation won the Field Prize at Yale and was published (Brill 2004) as A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu.

Reynolds’ principal work on the Qurʾan is The Qur’an and Its Biblical Subtext (Routledge 2010). He has also published The Emergence of Islam (Fortress, 2012), a work written especially for courses which cover the Qurʾan, the life of the Prophet Muhammad, or the classical period of Islam.

At Notre Dame Prof. Reynolds teaches classes including “Foundations of Theology,” “Islam and Christian Theology,” “The Quran and Its Relation to the Bible,” “The Holy Land,” and “Islamic Origins.” He has also been a visiting professor at Université de Saint Joseph in Lebanon and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Prof. Reynolds has conducted research and delivered lectures in cities throughout the Middle East, including Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Ankara, and Tehran.


Lecture 2: Peoples of the Books: A Muslim Reading the Bible

Dr Shabbir Akhtar, Research Fellow, Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford

Dr Shabbir Akhtar is a Muslim scholar who holds a doctorate in the philosophy of religion. After working in British race relations, he taught philosophy of religion and comparative religions in an Islamic university in Malaysia, for four years, and for a decade in Old Dominion University in Virginia, USA. Dr Akhtar has published widely on Islam and Christianity. His articles have appeared both in learned journals and in the national press. Several of his books have been translated into the major Islamic languages.

Dr Shabbir Akhtar is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies in Oxford. His work at the Centre includes co-editing a series of scholarly monographs on reading the Bible in the context of Islam, a project directed by Dr Ida Glaser. Dr Akhtar is completing a commentary on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. He has briefly explored the relevance of Paul to modern Islam in two recent books: The Quran and the Secular Mind (Routledge, 2008) and Islam as Political Religion (Routledge, 2010).