A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy
Anna Bonta Moreland
Muhammad Reconsidered rectifies the failures of scholarly attempts to understand Islam in the West and to take Islamic theology seriously. Engaging Islam from deep within the Christian tradition by addressing the question of the prophethood of Muhammad, Anna Bonta Moreland calls for a retrieval of Thomistic thought on prophecy. Without either appropriating the prophet as an unwitting Christian or reducing both Christianity and Islam to a common denominator, Moreland studies Muhammad within a Christian theology of revelation. This lens leads to a more sophisticated understanding of Islam, one that honors the integrity of the Catholic tradition and argues for the possibility in principle of Muhammad as a religious prophet.
Moreland sets the stage for this inquiry through an intertextual reading of the key Vatican II documents on Islam and on Christian revelation. She then uses Aquinas's treatment of prophecy to address the case of whether Muhammad is a prophet in Christian terms. Muhammad Reconsidered examines the work of several Christian theologians, including W. Montgomery Watt, Hans Küng, Kenneth Cragg, David Kerr, and Jacques Jomier, O.P., and then draws upon the practice of analogical reasoning in the theology of religious pluralism to show that a term in one religion—in this case “prophecy”—can have purchase in another religious tradition. Muhammad Reconsidered not only is a constructive contribution to Catholic theology but also has enormous potential to help scholars reframe and comprehend Christian-Muslim relations.