Contemporary Muslim and Christian Responses to Religious Plurality: Wolfhart Pannenberg in Dialogue with Abdulaziz Sachedina

By Lewis E. Winkler

An analysis of the challenges of religious diversity in the modern world, offering a synthesis of Muslim and Christian perspectives on tolerance and pluralism.

ISBN: 9780227680261


In our rapidly changing and progressively globalised world, Christians and Muslims are faced with the prospect of directly encountering and responding to people of other faiths and cultures. This has pushed us all to address the vital question of how best to live with, work beside, and love one another as fellow citizens of our planet.

Using resources from Christian theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg, Muslim ethicist Abdulaziz Sachedina, and several others, Winkler argues that we must continually dialogue with one another – not only about the beliefs and practices held in common between us, but also about the ways in which we are distinctively different. Only then can we take the opportunity more comprehensively to understand, appreciate, and co-operate with each other to build just, moral, and cohesive communities of hope in our often uncertain and unsettling times.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 350

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Lewis E. Winkler is a Lecturer in Theology, Church History, and Ethics at East Asia School of Theology in Singapore.


Foreword by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen

1. Contemporary Muslim and Christian Responses
     to Religious Plurality
2. Contemporary Christian-Muslim Relations:
     A Brief Historical and Thematic Survey
3. God, History, the Future, and Religious Contestation:
     Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Theology of Religions
4. Islam, Tolerance, and Democracy: Abdulaziz Sachedina’s
     Ethically Inclusive Response to Religious Plurality
5. Pannenberg and Sachedina in Critical Conversation:
     Conflict, Cooperation, and Convergence
5. Problems and Possibilities of Religious Plurality Revisited:
     A Contemporary Vision for the Pluralistic Now and Not-Yet
6. Applying Principles of Interfaith Dialogue: Father, Son, and Holy
     Spirit – A Trinitarian Look at Potential Problems and Possibilities
8. Hope against Hope: Potential Progress in the Face
     of (Seemingly) Intransigent Ideologies



Endorsements and Reviews

This book represents the way forward in interreligious dialogue. Its significance can be captured in two quotations. Winkler sums up Pannenberg’s estimation of its importance as follows: ‘… interreligious dialogue is not merely missional, it is theologically essential for a truer and more comprehensive understanding of God’s character and plans.’ Muslim scholar Omid Safi indicates how dialogue engages significant interests: ‘I don’t want to "tolerate" my fellow human beings but rather to engage them at the deepest level of what makes us human, through both our phenomenal commonality and our dazzling cultural differences.’
Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

One of the greatest challenges of our day is how committed Muslims and Christians can live together harmoniously with increased contact through migration and burgeoning Muslim birth rates while conflicts are exacerbated by sensationalist media coverage of terrorism and wars. Though recognizing the problems, Lewis Winkler has discerned enough harmony in the views of a significant thinker from each community to suggest a potential bridge for cordial interaction for the rest of us over the troubled political and religious waters that engulf the globe we share.
J. Dudley Woodberry, Dean Emeritus and Senior Professor of Islamic Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

Readers will gain a better understanding of Islam and also a larger view of how Christians can helpfully and faithfully approach interfaith dialogue and religious pluralism. The book identifies hopeful signs and severe obstacles to interfaith dialogue with a sense of realism. Winkler presents one small voice amongst a cacophony of Islamic radicalism. The book is helpful and intriguing …
Craig Stephans, in Theological Book Review, Vol 24, No 2

… a fair assessment of hopeful avenues for, and serious obstacles to, fruitful interfaith dialogue. All engaged with interfaith dialogues, or studying Christian and Islamic responses to religious pluralism, religious globalization, and future pathways of interfaith dialogue will find this book informative.
Armand J. Boehme, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 20, Issue 2

Muslim and Christian readers alike will benefit from and appreciate the way Winkler interprets Sachedina and compares and contrasts him with other Islamic voices that promote polemics and coercion of people outside Islam and of different traditions within Islam. Readers will come away with a better understanding of Islam and also a larger view of how Christians can approach inter-faith dialogue and religious pluralism without defensiveness or aggressive, threatening evangelism. … Winkler’s work is useful and a signpost for fresh encounters between Christians and Muslims. It can be commended for reading by practitioners of Christian-Muslim dialogue, for graduate and undergraduate students in this field
Ian G. Williams, in The Muslim World Book Review, Vol 33, No 2