Mark Silk calls our attention to a sermon by Guy Strousma at the Oxford University Cathedral that proposes that a reinterpretation of sacred scriptures holds the key to catalyzing progress toward peace in the Middle East. Silk writes:
[Strousma] told the solemn assembly of dons, an Abrahamic ecosystem that makes it impossible to understand each of these faiths in isolation: “The complex hermeneutics developed in Late Antiquity and in the Middle Ages by the competing communities perceiving themselves to be the true heirs of Abraham remain our inheritance.”
Those hermeneutics resulted in, among other things, each community laying its own exclusive claim to the Holy Land. But, Guy reminded his audience, Genesis 17 makes Abraham the ancestor of a multitude of nations. What’s needed is a recasting of traditional religious language in terms of cultural memory, such that age-old Jewish, Christian, and Muslim conceptions can be broadened into mutual understanding and acceptance.
Is this a hopeful approach? How might it best be pursued?
(Andrew McGowan wrote about one of Strousma’s earlier presentations.)