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A Jewish Agnostic View of the Quran

December 27, 2010

Both Christians and Jews in our online community sometimes seem more interested in the Quran than in each other’s Scriptures, with which we are so familiar. But Muslims have also recently been enthralled by positive insights into the Quran by Jewish and Christian commentators of humility and good will.

It that regard, in a forthcoming chapter in Three Testaments I suggest that just as Russian and American space crews can see outlines of Roman towns that British farmers cannot recognize under their feet, Jewish and Christian observers may be able to offer helpful views of the Quran that Muslims will appreciate for the first time. After all, it was Muslim folk who stumbled over the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hamadi Library that have so revolutionized biblical studies for Jews and Christians.

As a Christian, I am indeed humbled to hear how some of my observations in Forensic Scriptures have been featured at recent conferences of Islamic scholars. A current YouTube item by Jewish agnostic Lesley Hazelton is similar to that Three Testaments chapter about British farms as viewed by Russians and Americans from space, or the view of the Quran by Christians and Jews.

A psychologist by training and Middle East reporter by experience, British-born Lesley Hazleton has spent the last ten years exploring the vast and often terrifying arena in which politics and religion, past and present, intersect. She lived and worked in Jerusalem for thirteen years -- a city where politics and religion are at their most incendiary -- then moved to New York. She went to Seattle to get her pilot's license in 1992, saw the perfect houseboat, and stayed. Her most recent book, After the Prophet: the Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN-USA nonfiction award.

Muslim collaborators on the Three Testament project have been circulating the Hazelton video among themselves, and have suggested that Jewish and Christian colleagues might like to see it - which should be possible with a simple click on the following:
Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown