Hot Topic: Hagar and Muslims: The Children of the Slave Woman

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Ishmael and Hagar – characters who are barely footnotes in the history of Christianity, but feature prominently in the origin stories of Islam.

Join Dr Shabbir Akhtar (Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies) for an evening of comparison, discussion and education.

Dr Akhtar locates Hagar in Islamic tradition in the context of her place in both testaments of the Bible. He cautions Christians against misappropriating Paul’s potentially triumphalist allegory of the two women, Sarah and Hagar, symbolizing the two covenants of freedom and servitude respectively (Galatians 4.21-31). Dr Akhtar also examines the negative notices of the children of Hagar, found in apocalyptic Christian literature produced during the Muslim conquests of Christian lands, starting in the seventh Christian century. Such damaging views and assessments of Islam and its peoples have endured until today.

Dr Shabbir Akhtar is a Cambridge-trained philosopher who has published widely on philosophy of religion and on Islam. His latest work is on Christian origins, a commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, forthcoming from Routledge. He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Christian-Muslim Studies, Oxford, and a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford.

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