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A critical analysis of Christian responses to Islamic claims about the work of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘the Messenger of God’.

Long, William Thomas (1993) A critical analysis of Christian responses to Islamic claims about the work of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘the Messenger of God’. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aims of this study are to analyse critically the different Christian responses to the Islamic understanding of the work of Muhammad. Chapter one consists a short introduction leading to an appraisal of Muhammad which incorporates historical, hagiographal and Quranic source material, and in the light of relevant Christian and Muslim scholarship. The second chapter presents a summary critical analysis of Muhammad in Christian theological perspective, from 661 A.D. to modern times. Chapter three presents a critique of Christian responses to the Muslim allegations that the text of the Bible has been infected with corruption; and that Muhammad's advent and status are foretold in the unadulterated' scriptures, and in the Gospel of Barnabas. Chapter four examines the theological significance of the work of Muhammad for Christians. Thus, Jesus and Muhammad are critically assessed and contrasted in order to ascertain the importance, for Christians, of the Muslim claims in respect of Muhammad as ’the messenger of God’. Chapter five provides a critical evaluation of the various Christian responses to Muhammad. It is argued that many of the said responses have been entangled in myths and misperceptions which have severely distorted the true account of Muhammad's work. Consequently, many Christians have failed to appreciate the divine legitimacy of Muhammad's call to prophethood. Further, it is argued that Christians should accept that Muhammad is a genuine prophet, and the messenger of God. However, Muhammad's use of the power-structure in order to maintain Islam is in sharp contrast to Jesus’ decision to face the consequences of his ministry passively through faith in God. Accordingly, orthodox Christian belief in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus provides another dimension to prophethood, where the messenger and the message become one, an identification which finds no parallel in Islam, and which, in the nature of the case, cannot find a parallel.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1993
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:53

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