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On Being Human: Essays From The Fifth Shi'i Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue
Huebner, Harry; Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen, eds.
CMU Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9207-1894-0


This book contains essays presented at the latest Shi’a Muslim Mennonite Christian dialogue on June 1-4, 2011 at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Formal dialogue between Shi’a and Mennonite scholars has taken place for ten years, alternating venues between Qom, Iran and Canada. This was the fifth such event. Each dialogue focuses on a specific topic and this one on what it means to be human.

In addition to serving as a historical record, the collection and publication of these essays serve several purposes; they show how Mennonite and Shi'ite scholars seek to make themselves understood to those of other traditions without assuming any expertise in the histories and theologies of those addressed…

The essays thus reflect the authors' ideas of how best to convey what they hold to be not only their personal beliefs, but the beliefs of their communities, to an audience that is not expected to share these beliefs. Surprises abound as discussions reveal astonishing similarities across denominational lines and differences in basic concepts where similarities were assumed.

The authors do not attempt to prove that their views ar correct or that those of their dialogue partners are wrong… So the essays may also be read as an invitation to explore the issues in dialogue with Mennonites and Shi'ah and to observe the similarities and differences displayed in the thinking of Mennonites and Shi'ah, both in contrast to one another and within each group.

Dr. Harry J. Huebner is CMU Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Theology and has taught for 42 years. He is currently the Director of International and Inter-Faith Theological Initiatives at Canadian Mennonite University.

Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali is currently Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Religions at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute, Qom, Iran. He is also the dean of postgraduate studies of the international section at the Jami’at al-Zahra where the visiting women are studying. He is also the director of the International Institute for Islamic Studies. He is actively involved in interreligious dialogue, has organized or attended conferences worldwide, and is the author or editor of nine books.