Redemption in Islam, Judaism and Christianity | Inter-Religious Symposia

An Islamic Perspective

Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi’s presentation began by situating the advent of Islam into its socio-political context, helping to understand why and how some of the Islamic tenets are in close conversation with the other Abrahamic faiths. Although Sayed Razawi asserted that Islamic thought does not include notions of redemption in quite the same way as the Christian idea of redemption through Christ, parallels can be drawn with the idea of redemption through suffering and mourning.

Moulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi is the Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society (SABS). He is also an associate and a director at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, as well as being a Visiting Scholar at the University of Strathclyde. 

A Christian Perspective

Professor David Law presented a thorough paper explaining the complexities of how redemption is understood in Christianity, and the challenges some of those complexities might pose to theological doctrines. Professor Law explained that rather than ‘redemption’ being understood, in Christianity, as a singular tenet, it is more accurately recognised as a number of rivalling theories built on varying theological standpoints.

Prof. David Law joined the University of Manchester in 1994, where he is currently Professor of Christian Thought and Philosophical Theology. His work, to date, includes a host of academic publications and he is also responsible for supervising a number of PhD students.

On Thursday 25 November 2021, Al-Mahdi Institute was delighted to host the first ‘in-house’ Inter-Faith Symposium (IRS), since the pandemic restrictions were lifted.

The discussion revolved around the broad topic of Redemption through the lens of each of the Abrahamic faiths.

A Jewish Perspective

Rabbi Mark Solomon presented a comprehensive elucidation on the notion of redemption in Judaism. Rabbi Solomon’s explanation of redemption, in Jewish thought, divided the concept into personal spiritual redemption and a communal redemption – both addressing the Jewish people as a religious bloc and humanity at large. The latter – communal redemption – is inextricably linked to notions of messianism.

Rabbi Mark Solomon currently Rabbi of the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community and Interfaith Consultant for Liberal Judaism, as well as the Chair of the Beit Din of Liberal Judaism.