Chapter

Growing in Love and Truth with Muslims

Thomas Michel

in Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823243198
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823243235 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823243198.003.0019
Growing in Love and Truth with Muslims

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For a man who had never met a Muslim until he was twenty-eight, Michel’s life as a priest was characterised by more than forty years spent mainly amongst them. The seminal turning points of the 1960s, the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam of Pope Paul VI, Vatican II, and the civil rights movement in the United States, prepared the way for Indonesia and a life lived in engagement with Islam. After teaching at a teachers’ college and working with political prisoners in Indonesia, experiencing for the first time the hospitality of Muslims, he became a Jesuit and, after the prompting of Muslim students, began the formal study of Islam. This led, via the Lebanon and Cairo, to Chicago, where a doctoral thesis was prepared on Ibn Taymiyya under the direction of Fazlur Rahman. After a short time back in Indonesia, the road leads to Rome and official Christian-Muslim dialogue. It concludes in Turkey with years spent in teaching Christian theology and wide-ranging conversations.

Keywords: Michel; Ecclesiam Suam; Indonesia; Jesuit; Chicago; Ibn Taymiyya; Fazlur Rahman; Christian-Muslim; Turkey

Chapter.  4814 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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