April 13, 2017
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v2.1 Reference

The Theology of Louis Massignon

Islam, Christ, and the Church

Anticipating the vision of Nostra Aetate, Louis Massignon (1883-1962) imagined and worked toward a revolution in the relationship between Muslims and Christians, from one poisoned by fear and rivalry to one rooted in mutual understanding and fraternal correction. His lifelong study of the Qur'an, Muhammad, Arabic, Sufism, and the Muslim mystic and martyr al-Hallâj (858-922), who was executed by crucifixion for having publicly claimed union with God, grounded Massignon's conviction that there was a Christological nexus between the two religions. His founding of the Badaliya sodality with Mary Kahil (1889-1979) sought to bring Christians and Muslims together in prayer and substitutive love, and his writings and personal contacts helped to form the views of the men who would eventually draft the statements on Muslims at the Second Vatican Council. For all those reasons and more Massignon has been called "the single most influential figure [in the 20th century] in regard to the Church's relationship with Islam," and his approach has only become more important in the decades since his passing.

In The Theology of Louis Massignon, author Christian Krokus argues that Massignon's achievements in Christian-Muslim understanding, his activism on behalf of Muslim immigrants, refugees, and Middle Eastern Christians, as well as his developing understanding of Islam must be understood in the light of his Catholic convictions in relation to God, Christ, and the Church. With ample references to primary works, many translated into English for the first time, Krokus offers a comprehensive account of the main points of Massignon's religious thought that will prove essential to theologians and historians working on questions of Christian-Muslim dialogue, comparative theology, and religious pluralism. As global tensions between Christians and Muslims rise, the learned, religious, and humanizing vision of Louis Massignon is urgently needed.

About the Author

Christian S. Krokus is associate professor of theology at the University of Scranton


"The Theology of Louis Massignon is a long-needed and welcome work of scholarship that calls fresh attention to Louis Massignon, a foremost Islamic scholar of the twentieth century and a pioneer in the Catholic study of Islamic theology and mysticism. Massignon went deep into the study of Islamic mysticism, even while deepening his own faith; with insight and sensitivity, Krokus in turn explains how scholarship, spirituality, and the appropriation of Catholic tradition very much belonged together in Massignon's remarkable life's work. Even readers not engaged in the study of Islam will be grateful for the light Krokus sheds on interreligious learning in today's world. -"—Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

"The Theology of Louis Massignon provides extensive and insightful critical analyses of Massignon's experiential understanding and spiritual imitation of Christ in sacrificial love, particularly in relation to Muslims. The current crisis of the Muslim world and its impact on the relationship between Christians and Muslims make Christian Krokus's work all the more urgently relevant."—Patrick Laude, Georgetown University

"Christian Krokus has provided us with the first systematic exposition in English of the complex theological and spiritual significance of the thought of Louis Massignon, the great French Islamicist. In a time of rampant Islamophobia in the West, this book boldly proclaims the possibility of genuine Islamophilia as the only valid Christian approach to Muslims and their faith. I recommend this book with the greatest enthusiasm."—Patrick J. Ryan, SJ, Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society, Fordham University

9780813229461 : the-theology-of-louis-massignon-krokus
272 Pages
$65.00 USD

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