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  • Monday, March 9, 2020
  • 3:30 PM–5:00 PM

The Religion Department invites the Calvin community to join us for a special guest lecture by Dr. Gabriel Reynolds entitled, "God of Vengeance and Mercy: Allah in the Qur'an."

This lecture will be held on Monday, March 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall.

The theme of God’s mercy runs throughout the Qurʾan, every chapter of which (except one), begins with the invocation “In the name of God the merciful, the benevolent.” The Qurʾan, however, also emphasizes God’s justice and even His vengefulness. The vengefulness of the Qurʾan’s God is found in the stories it tells of the retribution which God carries out on unbelieving peoples, in the description of God as "avenger" or "able to requite" (Q 3:41; 5:95; 14:47; 39:37), and in the way the Qurʾan has God lay in wait for, or “ambush,” unbelievers (11:121-23; 89:14) or declare that He is the best of schemers (3:54; 4:142; 7:99; 8:30). Recent scholars including Fazlur Rahman, Angelika Neuwirth, and Mustansir Mir have emphasized divine mercy (Mir argues that mercy is God's only attribute). Others, such as Daud Rahbar, have emphasized divine justice. In this talk, Dr. Reynolds will make the case that the God of the Qur'an is both merciful and vengeful, that the Qur'an holds these two attributes in tension, and that is does so because of its high regard for divine sovereignty. With this theological stance the Qur'an develops the Biblical idea of God’s unique right to punish evildoers (found notably in Romans 12:19, quoting Deuteronomy 32:35).

Gabriel Said Reynolds did his doctoral work at Yale University in Islamic Studies. Currently he researches the Qur'an and Muslim/Christian relations and is Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology in the Department of Theology at Notre Dame where he teaches courses on theology, Muslim/Christian Relations, and Islamic Origins.

He is the author of The Qur'an and Its Biblical Subtext (Routledge 2010) and The Emergence of Islam (Fortress, 2012), the translator of ʿAbd al-Jabbar’s Critique of Christian Origins (BYU 2008), and editor of The Qur'an in Its Historical Context (Routledge 2008) and New Perspectives on the Qur'an: The Qur'an in Its Historical Context 2 (Routledge 2011). In 2012-13 Prof. Reynolds directed, along with Mehdi Azaiez, “The Qurʾan Seminar,” a year-long collaborative project dedicated to encouraging dialogue among scholars of the Qurʾan, the acts of which appeared as The Qurʾan Seminar Commentary (De Gruyter, 2016). In June 2018 he published The Qurʾan and the Bible with Yale University Press. In 2020 his latest book, Allah: God in the Qur'an, will also be published with Yale.

We hope you will be able to join us for this special event. Refreshments will be provided.


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