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Mono or Poly? Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism
The Others’ Faith: World Religions through the Lens of Judaism and Islam
The second event of our lecture series “The Others’ Faith” is dedicated to the question: How do today’s Jews and Muslims view Hinduism, which recognizes multiple deities?
Since Antiquity, Judaism has been preoccupied with setting itself apart from polytheistic religions and “idolatry.” Islam, too, has had numerous experiences with non-monotheistic religions, dating back to its emergence in the early seventh century BCE, and particularly during its expansion in Asia.
How do today’s Jews and Muslims view Hinduism, which recognizes multiple deities? As we will see, perhaps these historical perspectives are useful for a contemporary understanding of polytheistic religions, or perhaps such perspectives impede a nuanced exploration.
A discussion with Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein (Elijah Interfaith Institute) and Muhammad Suheyl-Umar (Iqbal Academy of Pakistan).
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein is a leading scholar of interfaith relations, a scholar of Jewish studies and founder of the Elijah Interfaith Institute that convenes the world’s premier faith leaders in high level study and dialogue. His recent publications are The Jewish Encounter with Hinduism: Wisdom, Spirituality Identity and Same God, Other god: Judaism, Hinduism and the Problem of Idolatry.
Muhammad Suheyl Umar
Muhammad Suheyl Umar was a long-term director of the Iqbal Academy Pakistan – an institute for promoting the teachings of the Indo-Pakistani poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal. He specializes in sufism, comparative religions and the Islamic intellectual history. He is the editor of The Religious Other: Towards a Muslim Theology of Other Religions in a Post-Prophetic age.