Muslim-Christian Dialog

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Pope Francis started to write his third official document before Covid-19 exploded on the global stage, but it only added more urgency to his message addressed to humanity, “We are all brothers!” If you want to know more about Pope Francis, read my thoughts on the first document, a pastoral letter calling for the renewal of the church on the…
14 January 2021

God and Covid-19

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For over a year now, those of us living on planet Earth have not been able to escape the powerful tentacles of the coronavirus. As of this writing, about 1.9 million people have died from it, just yesterday 4,408 died of it in the US, and with at least one new strain of Covid-19 that is doubly contagious, the pandemic…
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In the first installment, I told the story of how St. Francis of Assisi was able to cross enemy lines in the Fifth Crusade in order to share his faith with Egypt’s ruler, Malik al-Kamil. In fact, the latter graciously received him and his fellow monk, Illuminatio, for three or four days. This sultan was in the habit of meeting…
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[The author here is Mohamed ‘Arafa, my first guest author. I am only the editor this time. See his short bio at the end.] In February 2019, Pope Francis made an apostolic trip to the Middle East, including a visit to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. There he met with Ahmad el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University,…
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The painting of St. Francis embracing Egypt’s Sultan Malik al-Kamil is on the first page of my website. It graces my Twitter handle. After nine years, I finally get to explain it, and this with the help of acclaimed 2009 book by journalist and professor of journalism Paul Moses, The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of…
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This is not just an academic topic– how Muslims and Christians think about caring for aged parents. For me it’s deeply – achingly, in this case – personal. We moved down to Philadelphia from Connecticut in 2006 to be close to my wife’s mother whose health was declining. Less than five years later we actually moved in to her home…