Interfaith Understanding

May 27, 2021

What’s in a Name?: A Case for Using ‘Isa in Arabic Translations of the Bible

By Martin Accad “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2) As Juliet agonizes over her love for Romeo, forbidden to her merely because he bears the Montague name, the family which is […]
May 6, 2021

Ramadan Kareem!: Thoughts for Christians about Engaging Muslims this Ramadan

By Abed El Kareem Zien El Dien Muslims around the world are in the final week of Ramadan. Many Christians I know, and Evangelicals particularly, are not positively inclined toward Muslims. Islam and Muslims are widely demonized and essentialized in their eyes. But why and how can we care about […]
January 14, 2021

That They Might See Your Christmas Trees: A Post-Christmas Reflection on Arab Christianity and the Challenge of Presence

By Nabil Habibi Dad comes home with a big box. The four of us children, two girls and two boys, stare with curiosity. Mom is grinning. Dad opens the box. It is a Christmas tree! In almost any other Christian house in the Middle East, and indeed many Muslim ones, […]
December 9, 2020

Talking Non-Christian Religious Experiences: Avoiding Compromise and Demonization for the Sake of the Good News and Social Peace

By Tim Brys A few years ago, I was left rather shaken when confronted with the fact that Christians are not the only ones to enjoy deeply meaningful religious experiences. Consider for example the following account that I read in William James’s classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience. James […]
December 2, 2020

Free Speech in Contention: On Offense, Faith, and Democracy

                                                                                                by Wissam Nasrallah I can still remember the day when my mother could not find Danish butter in Saudi supermarkets as a result of a boycott against Danish products by many Arab and Muslim countries after dozens of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad were published by the Danish newspaper […]
November 19, 2020

Seeking Truth in a Land of Lies: A Pathway to Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

By Martin Accad and Tim Brys We previously wrote that Lebanese society is defined by sectarianism. This marriage of religion and Middle Eastern tribalism leads most Lebanese to think and live according to the dictates of their sectarian (tribal) leaders, whether they be Sunni, Maronite, Druze, etc. The 15 years […]
September 14, 2020

Christians and Muslims Praying Together: Compromise or a Sign of Hope?

By Tim Brys, Martin Accad and Brent Hamoud When COVID-19 hit Lebanon in February 2020 bringing the country to a near standstill, the team at the Institute of Middle East Studies was challenged to rethink its peacebuilding initiatives in light of new social-distancing realities. This was quite difficult for programs […]
February 27, 2020

Aristotle, Accad and Golden Means to Christian-Muslim Interaction

By Brent Hamoud People are intuitively innovative, but religion is a realm where innovation can easily lag. Faith convictions have a history of taking lines in the sand and turning them into crevasses in concrete, especially regarding Christian-Muslim relations. Over the years many ideas have been inspired but not enough […]