• University of Edinburgh

Christian-Muslim Relations

Uncover important themes in the history of Christian-Muslim relations and understand the politics that continue to shape it.

3,267 enrolled on this course

A photo of a mosque and a church.

Christian-Muslim Relations

3,267 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Gain an insight into the academic study of Christian-Muslim Relations

On this innovative four-week course, you’ll be introduced to the academic study of Christian-Muslim Relations with the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.

You’ll explore some of its key historical moments, compare the teachings of both the Bible and the Qur’an, will learn about the everlasting theological debates that concern the study, and will also decipher how politics and societies have been directly impacted by Christian-Muslim relations.

Explore the key theological debates between Christians and Muslims

You’ll gain insight into the major events and movements which have shaped the encounters between Christians and Muslims, from the rise of Islam (610-632CE) to the present day.

You’ll then identify key areas of theological and religious commonality, and will discover what has caused disagreements and debates between Christians and Muslims throughout history.

Unpack the political and ideological contexts that have shaped Christian-Muslim relations

You’ll evaluate the role of religion and Christian-Muslim relations in different social and political contexts all around the globe, and will understand the main ideas and practices of both Christian and Muslim communities, and how social contexts can impact inter-religious encounters.

Finally, you’ll develop an understanding of the roles that inter-religious dialogue and polemics (or contentious rhetorics) function in the formation of religions.

Learn from educators at The School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh

The School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh has played a pioneering role in Islam and the study of Christian-Muslim relations. In fact, they’re the only university in the UK with this distinctively comparative focus on Islam and Christianity.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Nearly half of the world’s population are affiliated with either Christianity or Islam. Since Islam’s emergence over 1,400 years ago, Christians and Muslims have continuously engaged each other. These encounters have been marked by both rivalry and cooperation, violence and peace, polemics and dialogue. To make matters even more complicated, these encounters cut across different genres and disciplines. To talk about Christian-Muslim Relations is to talk about scripture and theology, philosophy and poetry, politics and the law, prayer and personal piety, and even art, architecture, and public space. I’m Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla. Join me and my colleague, Dr Joshua Ralston, in this short, online course hosted by the University of Edinburgh.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second Over the four weeks, students will be introduced to the academic study of Christian-Muslim Relations. We’ll learn about the similarities and differences between the Bible and the Qur’an and analyse the ongoing legacy of Abraham in both religions. Through dynamic discussion, engaging presentations, historical readings, students will learn about how Christians and Muslims have understood Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad. We’ll also consider some of the very earliest historical encounters between Christians and Muslims, moving beyond simple grand narratives of perpetual Islamic conquest and Christian crusades.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds Using case studies and virtual tours of the Mosque-Cathedral in Córdoba, Spain and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, we’ll examine how the legacy of Christian-Muslim Relations has shaped politics, culture, art, and public space up until this very day. Join us in this intellectual journey to better understand both Christianity and Islam, and, perhaps more importantly, how these global and diverse religious traditions have encountered one another and collectively shaped the world that we live in.

What topics will you cover?

  • History: Highlighting salient themes in the history of Christian-Muslim relations
  • Scripture: Comparing the roles and narratives of the Bible and the Qur’an, particularly as they relate to Christian-Muslim relations
  • Theology: Exploring some of the key theological debates between both communities, including polemical and irenic exchanges
  • Politics: Unpacking the broader political and ideological contexts that have shaped (and that continue to reshape) Christian and Muslim encounters

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the major events and movements which shaped the encounters between Christians and Muslims from the rise of Islam to the present day.
  • Interpret key areas of theological and religious commonality and disagreements between Christians and Muslims.
  • Evaluate the role of religion and Christian-Muslim relations in different social and political contexts across the globe.
  • Develop an understanding of how inter-religious dialogue and polemics function in the formation of religions.

Who is the course for?

This course is for those interested in learning more about the two largest religions in the world. This can include the general public and prospective postgraduate students for the newly developed taught Masters in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

It’s also suited to religious leaders, in both Christian and Muslim communities, who wish to learn more about the other tradition and the history of inter-religious encounters.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla is Lecturer in Islam & Christian-Muslim Relations at the University of Edinburgh. A Muslim liberation theologian, he is the author of the book: "Qur'an of the Oppressed" (Oxford)

Dr Joshua Ralston is a Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Law and the Rule of God: A Christian Engagement with Shari'a published by Cambridge.

Mona Siddiqui is Professor of Islamic and interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She contributes regularly to the media and is the author of `Christians, Muslims and Jesus' (Yale UP).

Salam Rassi is Lecturer of Islam and Christian Muslim Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Christian Thought in the Medieval Islamicate World (OUP, 2022).

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Endorsers and supporters

funded by

The Henry Luce Foundation logo

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Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$49/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 24 Dec 2022

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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