1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 1 (April 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Truth or Diplomacy? For the Life of the World, Islam and the Patristic Approach

Published Online: 29 May 2021
Page range: 31 - 41
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In their writings on Islam, John Damascene and Theodore Abu Qurrah, both authoritative patristic saints of the Orthodox Church, took an apologetic and polemic stand in defence of the Christian truth. In the modern interreligious discourse, however, the approach to Islam is rather diplomatic, concentrating on universal human values and common aspects of religions. How does the document For the Life of the World operate in this tension? In general, it aims to build on patristic argumentation, but the approach to Islam is most positive and all-embracing, welcoming the “beauty and truths” of Islam and stressing the “common roots,” while the patristic views on Islam are silenced. The discrepancy may arouse questions on the sincerity and coherence of the modern approach in relation to the patristic tradition. This reflects wider challenges in the modern theology of the Church: how to find a discursive position in the tension between the defence of truth, characteristic for the patristic thought, and the “diplomatic” language of the modern interreligious encounters.

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