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The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Convergences: Inventories of the Present) Paperback – May 30, 2003

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The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Convergences: Inventories of the Present) + The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book' in the Language of Islam (Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World) + Jesus and the Muslim: An Exploration
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a Western religion, Islam gives primacy to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and considers Jesus to be a holy prophet. In The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature, Tarif Khalidi brings together Islamic primary sources about Jesus from the eighth to the 18th centuries. Included are mystical works, historical texts about prophets and saints and, of course, the foundational words about Jesus in the Qur'an. "As a whole," Khalidi explains, these writings "form the largest body of texts relating to Jesus in any non-Christian literature." Khalidi pays particular attention to the literary quality of the texts and the role "the Muslim Jesus" has played in both Muslim piety and Muslim-Christian relations.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The oldest stories of Jesus may be contained in the New Testament, but legions of Christian gospels weren't included in the New Testament. And could there be an Islamic gospel? After all, Jesus figures prominently in Islam. Alongside the hadiths , the stories of the Prophet's sayings and actions, appear stories of Jesus' sayings and actions, 303 of which Tarif Khalidi has collected and translated to produce, for the first time, a Muslim gospel. Some of the sayings reflect certain of Jesus' sayings in the Christian gospels, while others probably derive from pre-Islamic ascetics and heroes. The widespread Islamic view of Jesus as the ascetic prophet makes him especially popular with Sufism (mystical Islam), but Khalidi's efforts bring a much greater diversity of Muslim beliefs about Jesus into the book. To each story, Khalidi appends astute analysis, and a lengthy general introduction provides a historical and functional overview of the Muslim understanding of Jesus. A unique and important addition to the corpus of writings about Jesus. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Convergences: Inventories of the Present (Book 28)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674011155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674011151
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As an Arab Christian who have lived in an Islamic environment, I have always known that Muslims cherished and respected Jesus as one of their prophets, but little did I know about the actual sayings they ascribe to him. I was therefore intrigued by the topic of this book: what do Muslims really think about Jesus, and how does their conception differ from ours? I found this book to contain excellent answers to satisfy my curiosity and arouse further interest in the subject.
This book is the first collection in English of all the sayings in early Islamic literature (Hadith) attributed to Jesus. Thus they are the authoritative guide to what Islam knows and thinks about Jesus. The rendering into English is excellent and easily readable, and the author's commentary on each saying is a useful addition. I decided to read the introduction before the sayings, and was thankful for doing so (despite its length), as the introduction adds a wealth of background material about the origin of the sayings, their relationship to Christianity, and their evolution within the early Islamic context. The scholarship of the author is impeccable, and the work is a superb example of how unbiased objective scholarship should be, as the author takes no sides, except that of deep curiosity to find out the truth.
While reflecting the certain theological differences between the Islamic Jesus and the Christian Jesus, these sayings are evidence for a surprising similarity in attitude and values between the two religions. No doubt some of these sayings are influenced by translations of the gospels and apocryphal texts into Arabic and by the large Arab Christian community during that period.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Ort on March 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. If you truly wish to understand the Islamic view of Jesus, this book is a must. Through its pages are many stories and sayings of Jesus, some instantly recognizable, others less so.
Rather than studying 'dry' comparative religious texts discussing 'Islam vs. Christianity/Jesus' (which are foundationally necessary), try reading this book as an alternative. Not only will you come to understand how Jesus is viewed in Islam but you will also get a sense of the 'spirit' of Islam.
The introduction presents the major themes in any discussion on this topic and raises many questions, yet leaves them open ended. Yet the answers make their way through the pages of the rest of the book. This book will enlighten you to the fact that in the earliest days of Islam, the bitter and often violent antagonism that seems so apparent these days was not always so and in that sense perhaps hope will spring eternal from these pages.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Muslim Jesus: Sayings And Stories In Islamic Literature is the English translation of the largest collection ever published for a western readership of the sayings and stories of Jesus as found in Arabic Islamic literature. A unique and invaluable resource for the study of Jesus's role and position within an Islamic context, The Muslim Jesus documents how the Islamic movement assimilated the figurehead of Christianity and its implications for contemporary intersectarian relations and ecumenical dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Tarif Khalidi's informative introduction and commentaries place the sayings and stories within an historical context. This compendium of some 300 sayings and stories of Jesus are arranged in chronological order, revealing how the image of Jesus evolved throughout a thousand years of Islamic history and lore. The Muslim Jesus is an indispensable and greatly appreciated addition to Islamic Studies.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book reveals how another major world civilization viewed Jesus: as a prophet, teacher, ascetic, and iconoclast. It displays a new facet of Jesus, which is highly relevant to our times. I'll definitely assign this text in one of my undergraduate courses.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janet Powers on June 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As it turns out, careful control over the creation of the Bible centuries ago meant that many of the orally preserved stories about Jesus were lost to the Christian tradition. Islam, however, preserved a number of these, as one of the Abrahamic religions whose adherents shared a common theological background with Christians and Jews. This book collects a number of sayings and stories concerning Esa, as Jesus is known to readers of the Qur'an. Some are quite similar to stories and sermons familiar to us from the New Testament, but many are delightfully new and enrich the legacy of Jesus without in any way diminishing his contributions as a teacher and advocate for the poor. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God, but they do revere him as a prophet. In many ways this book explains and illuminates that reverence for Esa.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Klevorn on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book has soothed alot of nerves in our mixed household...you know the relatives that just have no idea how a Catholic and a Muslim can share life without conflict of religion. Everybody has questions, and this book is lovely for helping inform people who don't know our similarities, just the differences.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Berntson on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an informative text and can only strengthen your knowledge of Jesus & Islam. There is little comment in the book and some passages will remain a mystery. There are several parallel stories to Gnostic texts in the text.

It shows that Jew-Dao-Christian & Islam are so closely related. Well worth a read for a seeker of understanding & knowledge and some challenges to your view of Jesus Christ.

Peace
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