Teaching Resources


Studies in Scriptural Reasoning: The Abrahamic Traditions

Instructor: Prof. Kurt Anders Richardson
Emmanuel College, University of Toronto

Course Description:

The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have developed great complexity as religious traditions and yet they share at the level of scripture many narrative themes and teachings. This course explores these commonalities in difference through comparative textual and theological study.

Course goals:

Participants in this course will study together in classic fashion, key texts which the three faiths hold in common. Following basic introductions, group reading and reporting in larger groups foster in-depth understanding of key beliefs and doctrines.

Course Texts:


Kenneth Cragg. A Certain Sympathy of Scriptures—Biblical and Quranic. Portland, OR, Sussex Academic Press, 2004.

John C. Reeves. Bible and Qur'_n: essays in scriptural intertextuality. Atlanta: Soc of Biblical Literature, 2003.


Hamid Algar. Wahhabism: A Critical Essay. Islamic Publications International, 2002.

Abraham Ascher. The Mutual Effects of the Islamic and Judeo-Christian Worlds. Rowman & Littlefield, 1986.

Asma Barlas. "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'_n. Austin TX: University of Texas Press, 2000.

Issa J. Boullata. Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Qur’_n. Routledge/Curzon, 2002.

Richard J. Clifford, The Exodus in the Christian Bible: the case for "figural" reading, Theological Studies 63 (2002) 345-361.

F. De Jong (Editor), Bernd Radtke (Editor), Islamic Mysticism Contested: Thirteen Centuries of Controversies and Polemics (Islamic History and Civilization). Leiden: Brill, 1999.

Hans Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative, A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974.

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, John L. Esposito. Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. University Press of Florida, 2001.

K Hagen (ed). The Bible in the Churches: How Various Christians Interpret the Scriptures. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1998.

David Weiss Halivni, ed. Revelation Restored: Divine Writ and Critical Responses. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

Stanley Hauerwas. Unleashing the Scripture. Abingdon, 1993.

L. Gregory Jones and James J. Buckley, eds. Theology and Scriptural Imagination. Blackwell, 1998.

Tarif Khalidi, ed. The Muslim Jesus: sayings and stories in Islamic literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

John Kaltner, ‘Abraham's sons: how the Bible and Qur’_n see the same story differently,’ Bible Review 18 (2002) 16-23,45-46.

John Kaltner. Inquiring of Joseph: Getting to Know a Biblical Character through the Qur’an. Interfaces. Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, 2003.

Reinhard Gregor Kratz & Tilman Nagel, eds."Abraham, unser Vater": die gemeinsamen Wurzeln von Judentum, Christentum und Islam. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2003.

Robert Deemer Lee. Overcoming Tradition and Modernity: The Search for Islamic Authenticity. Westview Press, 1997.

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. Encyclopedia of the Qur’_n. Leiden: Brill, 2004.

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Barry D. Walfish, Joseph W. Goering. With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Carey C. Newman, et. al., eds. The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Leiden: Brill, 1999.

Peter Ochs, ed., The Return to Scripture in Judaism and Christianity, Essays in Postcritical Scriptural Interpretation. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1993.

A. C. Outler, ‘Toward a Postliberal Hermeneutics,’ Theology Today 42(1985), 281-291.

F.E. Peters. The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition: Volume 2 The Words and Will of God. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Theodore Pulcini, Gary Laderman. Exegesis of Polemical Discourse: IBN Hazm on Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Scholars Press, 1998.

Hussein Abdul-Raof. Qur'_n Translation: discourse, texture and exegesis. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 2001.

Rolf Rendtorff, 'Jews and Christians: seeing the prophets differently,' Bible Review 19 no 1 F 2003, p 24-31,54.

Henning Graf Reventlow, The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World (trans. John Bowden). Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985.

Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, trans. Denis Savage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970.

Abdulaziz Sachedina. Islamic Messianism: The Idea of the Mahdi in Twelver Shi'ism. State University of New York, Albany, 1980.

Abdulaziz Sachedina. The Prolegomena to the Qur'an, being annotated trans. of al-Bayan fi tafsir al-qur'_n by Abu al-Qasim al-Khui'. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998.

Abdulaziz Sachedina, "Jews, Christians, and Muslims According to the Qur'_n." The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. 31, No. 1 2 (1986), pp. 105 120.

Abdulaziz Sachedina, "Islamic Theology of Christian-Muslim Relations." Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1997.

Omid Safi. Progressive Muslims : On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism. Oneworld Publications, 2003.

Abdolkarim Soroush, Mahmoud Sadri, Ahmad Sadri, eds. Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani. Doctrines of Shi'i Islam: A Compendium of Imami Beliefs and Practices. Reza Shah Kazemi (Translator). London: I.B.Tauris, 2001.

Roberto Tottoli. Biblical Prophets in the Qur'_n and Muslim Literature. Richmond: Curzon Press, 2002.

Hendrik M. Vroom, Jerald D. Gort, eds., Holy Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Hermeneutics,Values and Society. Rodopi, 1997.

Online Materials:

Journal for Scriptural Reasoning

Journal of Textual Reasoning

Course requirements:

Attendance 20% Daily reports 20% Major paper 60%

Course program:

Students will be expected to have read the important recent essay before the first day:

Jacques Waardenburg [Uni. Lausanne], ‘Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Their Religions,’ Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, Vol. 15, No. 1, 13–33, 2004.

Course Outline

I. Introductions and orientations

II. Lecture: The Challenge of Reasoning with Scripture

III. Waardenburg’s Thesis

IV. Scriptural Reasoning 1: Scriptures on Scripture

V. Paper Discussion: Holy Spirit and the Prophets, by Prof. Mohammad Kazeem-Shaker, University of Qom, Iran

VI. Lecture: Intertextual Scriptural Reasoning

VII. Scriptural Reasoning 2: Adam in the traditions

VIII. Cragg’s theses

IX. Lecture: Exodus 18-19: Covenant and Election, by Prof. David Novak, University of Toronto

X. Scriptural Reasoning 3: Abraham in the traditions

XI. Reeves: Biblical and Quranic interface

XII. Lecture & Discussion: Scripture and Prophecy, by Prof. Hindy Najman, University of Toronto

XIII. Scriptural Reasoning 4: Moses in the traditions

XIV. Lecture: Tanakh, Kaine Diatheke, Qur’_n: Difference and Mutuality in Reading Scriptures

XV. Scriptural Reasoning 5: Messiah in the traditions