Here is the English abstract of Dr. Qasem Kakaei (Professor, Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran)'s presentation at the 5nd lecture of the pre-con lectures of the international conference on “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held online on January 1, 2024.
The Dialogue between Islam and Christianity from the Perspective of Mysticism
In this article, we first define interreligious dialogue as a dialogue between the followers of religions based on their understanding of their religion. Then we distinguish dialogue from debate and dispute. In dialogue, both parties undergo change and learn from each other. By 'religion', we mean Abrahamic or monotheistic religions, all of which have holy books. Among these, Islam and Christianity are chosen as the most populous Abrahamic religions. The Holy Quran, due to the spiritual strength found among Christians, sees the door of dialogue with them more open. Followers of Islam and Christianity, due to common issues they face in the modern world such as materialism, modernism, post-modernism, Godless mysticism, etc., need to learn from each other and respond to these issues. Since the essence of these two religions is unity and spirituality, this dialogue will be better formed on the basis of Islamic and Christian mysticism, the core of which is unity. In this paper, some examples of this dialogue are presented from the works of Ibn Arabi and Meister Eckhart. Finally, we analyze the theological discussion of the Trinity and Monotheism from the perspective of religious mysticism in these two religions. Henry Corbin, in his meeting with Allameh Tabatabai, based on the theory of manifestation (Tajallī), attempted to reconcile the Trinity with Monotheism. In the works of Islamic mystics like Ibn Arabi, and even in the works of the Christian mystic Eckhart, this kind of interpretation regarding the Trinity is prominent.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi