Crossing Confessional Boundaries: Exemplary Lives in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions (Paperback)
Arguably the single most important element in Abrahamic cross-confessional relations has been an ongoing mutual interest in perennial spiritual and ethical exemplars of one another’s communities. Ranging from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages, Crossing Confessional Boundaries explores the complex roles played by saints, sages, and Friends of God in the communal and intercommunal lives of Christians, Muslims, and Jews across the Mediterranean world, from Spain and North Africa to the Middle East to the Balkans. By examining these stories in their broad institutional, social, and cultural contexts, Crossing Confessional Boundaries reveals unique theological insights into the interlocking histories of the Abrahamic faiths.
About the Author
John Renard is Professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. His many books include Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims, Windows on the House of Islam, Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood, Tales of God’s Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation, and Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader.
"A smashing success; the literature Renard reviews is extensive and his ability to present the most salient points toward future scholarship is impressive. He elaborates a genealogy of the exemplary figure that will surely shape any future work in the field."
— Reading Religion
"The book becomes both roadmap and toolkit, guiding readers though the use of hagiography and equipping them to apply it as a resource for fresh scholarship."
— Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
"John Renard is one of few scholars to possess the intellectual toolkit and dexterity necessary for the breadth of Crossing Confessional Boundaries and the ways in which it weaves multiple historiographical strands together. . . . [Renard] reminds us that Late Antiquity was not a period of crisis and decline. . . . [but] was one of deep cross-cultural contacts and complex interfaith encounters."
— Mediterranean Seminar
"Crossing Confessional Boundaries remains an excellent hagiography manual."
— Critical Bulletin of the Islamic Annals
"There is much to appreciate in what Renard has produced. . . . Renard’s book will provide a concise overview of a significant corpus of recent scholarship on late antiquity, and the significance therein of holy persons. His juxtaposition of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literatures will provide readers with an awareness of these religious traditions’ interconnections that many may not have otherwise realized."
— Journal of Early Christian History