For the Peace of the City: Christian-Muslim relations in Britain today
June 21 @ 4:00 pm - June 23 @ 3:00 pm£200
Tutor: Dr Phil Lewis
This retreat presupposes no knowledge of Islam. After a brief introduction, there are four sessions: the first will look at ‘Worship in Islam’ where worship will be the lens through which we see how the Islamic tradition developed over time. It is appropriate to begin with a focus on worship since Islam literally means ‘surrender’/’submission’ to God.
The second session will look sequentially at how first Jesus, and then Muhammad, is understood in the Qur’an and, briefly, in the Islamic tradition. This will draw attention to both similarities and radical differences in how shared religious categories are understood across both traditions, for example, prophecy, martyrdom and ‘God’/’Allah’.
Our third session will delve into how religious leaders – ‘ulama – who provide mosque personnel, as well as legal specialists, are trained in the more than 20 Islamic seminaries in Britain. This will make clear the crisis in religious formation and attempts to address this crisis.
Finally, we will look at the enormous social and religious challenges facing Muslims as a minority in British society, and how Christians are responding to such challenges and creating a more hopeful, shared future.
There will be plenty of opportunities during this retreat to chat informally about issues which interest or concern retreatants about Islam.
After six years researching and lecturing at an ecumenical Christian Study Centre in Pakistan, Dr Phil Lewis spent over twenty five years advising Anglican bishops of Bradford on Christian-Muslim relations, and lecturing in the Peace Studies Department at Bradford University on Islam in the West & Religions, Conflict and Peacemaking. His passion is how Christians and Muslims might live well together, while acknowledging that both remain missionary religions with often difficult, intertwined histories. He was part of the national Christian-Muslim forum set up in 2006 and sat on the European Council of Churches’ Islam in Europe committee. He has written three books on Islam in Britain, the last with a Muslim friend, entitled: Muslims in Britain: new directions in Islamic thought, creativity and activism (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). In retirement, he continues to write, review for the Church Times, and teach ordinands about Islam in Britain and Christian-Muslim relations.