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Baha'i Approaches to Christianity and Islam: Further Thoughts on Developing an Inter-Religious Dialogue

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This paper aims to present a novel Baha'i contribution to inter-religious dialogue, one that is based on developing intellectual bridges between the religions. It is argued that the concept of continuity of revelation is a framework by which religions can dialogue about their differences and similarities. Some preliminary aspects of this concept are outlined from scripture and current scholarship in Christianity and Islam. There are three aspects to continuity of revelation: commonalities between the religions, non-exclusivity and non-finality in relation to their claims. The paper concludes that a central theme of inter-religious dialogue should be the nature and lives of the prophet-founders. In the context of Christian Muslim dialogue, the challenge that the prophetic career of Muhammad represents for Christians is discussed in relation to Abdu'l-Baha's talks in the West. Finally, the importance for Baha'is of contributing to the western discourse on Islam is explored.
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Keywords: Baha'i; Christian-Muslim; exclusivity; finality; interfaith; interreligious; prophet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Oxford.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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