|Francis X. Clooney|
In close cooperation with Muslim theologians, von Stosch focuses primarily on the Christian-Islamic nexus. In the fall of 2011, he delivered guest lectures in Christian theology to Shiite students in the Iranian city of Qom. Early this year, he was a guest at the Benedictine Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, together with the Islamic religious educationalist Mouhanad Khorchide from the German city of Münster (see also the blog post of 26 November 2011). This month, the Paderborn centre, in cooperation with the Centre for Islamic Theology in Münster and the Mercator Foundation, will convene a week-long workshop discussing eschatalogical concepts in Islam and Christianity, including perceptions of violence in the Bible and Koran.
|German comparative theologian Klaus von Stosch (r.) with|
Mohammad Taghi Ansaripour of the University of Religions in Qom (Iran).
CT takes a more open view of the spiritual world of others. As a Muslim female employee in Stosch's department carried out research into liberation-theology traditions in Christianity and Islam, she encountered something that could represent an Islamic analogy to the Christian Trinity concept: the 99 names of God as mentioned in the Koran and in Islamic tradition. These names are often set out as contrasts, for example "the First" and "the Last", "the Manifest" and "the Hidden". Stosch views this as a "functional equivalent in Islam, a way for Muslims to perceive diversity in unity." But, he emphasises: "That doesn't mean there has to be an argument over who is right.Comparative Theology aims to establish shared outlooks like these – without making any attempt to reduce them to some common denominator. The aim is to developed 'concrete understanding above and beyond religious boundaries'.