Can there be genuine sympathy' between the Bible and the Qur'an? Their peoples' have been at odds so long, disputing their texts and discounting their credentials. Scholars from both faiths have contrived intriguing comparison of narratives about Abraham, Joseph or Moses but with little relevance to the contemporary scene and its demand for religious converse and sanity. "A Certain Sympathy of Scriptures" attempts something more central to the essential interest' of both Scriptures, more cogent in this 21st century (the 15th Islam). It is a concern with three shared dimension: The divine will for this cosmos of created order; its entrustment into human hands as creaturely heirs to its order and responsive sciences'; and the discipline of their tenancy and privilege by messengers' and prophethoods disclosing the intention of divine Lordship in the fact of human vocation. These three dimensions are the supreme theme of both Scriptures. This caliphate' of humankind belongs in a now global situation as the abiding reality of Semitic humanism.
We are not on our own', but trustees in a sacramental order, neither playthings nor puppets of a bland omnipotence but associates' of the God who willed to create and cared to inform, inspire and invite as such to be. Deep disparities remain between our Scriptures. They have to do with what goes beyond our education', as more than prophethood. They enlarge into all that Jesus fulfilled in Christhood. They involve a truer measure of human perversity and, in turn, a larger expectation concerning the greatness' of God. Yet what divides need not alienate. The mutual ground -- this certain sympathy -- gives hope of wiser recognition of the divine stake in our humanity.
"By endeavouring to trace some form of sympathy - rather than pursue an analytical comparison as such - between the Bible and the Quran, Cragg offers both a model as well as a resource for the further pursuit of a Christian - Muslim theological dialogue that centres on that point of contact with the divine which both unites and divides Christians and Muslims: revelation, mediated through scriptural text. Such engagement is of vital importance today, and not just in terms of academic interaction." -- Reviews in Religion and Theology.