Sources and Models in Traditions of Spirituality

John Renard

in Islam and Christianity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255081
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948334 | DOI:
Sources and Models in Traditions of Spirituality

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This chapter highlights the Christian and the Islamic traditions of spirituality. Neither the Bible nor the Qur'ān was intended to be read as a manual of spirituality, but over the centuries Muslim and Christian spiritual guides have elaborated on their scriptures' allusions to the most important aspects of the divine-human relationship. Christians generally look to both Old and New Testaments to tap into the spiritual wellsprings of their various denominational traditions. Muslims draw extensively on the Qur'ān for personal inspiration in their daily struggles to remain faithful to the tradition they have received. In addition, both Islamic and Christian traditions center on the ways in which their respective foundational figures Jesus and Muhammad model that commitment. Muslims and Christians nonetheless strive to incorporate the example of their spiritual models to the extent that they are humanly imitable. Stories of religiously exemplary figures have played important roles in the lives of many Christians and Muslims. In both traditions, however, one finds varying degrees of theological legitimacy and importance attributed to saints and Friends of God.

Keywords: Spirituality; Bible; Qur'ān; spiritual guides; Jesus; Muhammad

Chapter.  8051 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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