The Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, Islam
This book covers the similarities and differences inherent in the religion of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
"F.E. Peters, a scholar in the comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, revisits his pioneering work after twenty-five years. Peters has rethought and thoroughly rewritten his classic The Children of Abraham for a new generation of readers - at a time when the understanding of these three religious traditions has taken on a new and critical urgency." Peters traces the three faiths from the sixth century B.C. when the Jews returned to Palestine from exile in Babylonia, to the time in the Middle Ages when they approached their present form. He points out that all three faith groups, whom the Muslims themselves refer to as "People of the Book," share much common ground. Most notably, each embraces the practice of worshipping a God who intervenes in history on behalf of His people.
FROM THE CRITICS
Responding to renewed interest in the common foundation of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Peters (Middle Eastern studies, history, & religion, NYU) has thoroughly updated his 1982 classic overview. He begins by examining the shared yet contested Abrahamic base of these religions, then compares their views on God, prophethood, revelation, community, law, scripture, tradition, theology, and worship. The fundamental difference, argues Peters, is that Jews and Muslims believe the Word to have been enshrined in sacred texts through essentially human prophets, while Christians believe that the Word became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. This difference "gave rise to consequences alien to the sensibilities" of Jews and Muslims, such as Trinitarian doctrine and eucharistic sacrifice. Peters overlooks how the Islamic mystics' approach to Jesus and some Shi'ites' veneration of Muhammad and his family as embodiments of divine grace may approach the Christian view of Jesus. Though this update would have been improved by including the fourth Abrahamic faith, the Baha'i religion, it is recommended for academic, religious, and public libraries of all sizes. William P. Collins, Library of Congress Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.