Leading scholar to address StFX Christian Culture Lecture Series

Gabriel Said Reynolds 2
Dr. Gabriel Said Reynolds

The Christian Culture lectures at St. Francis Xavier University for 2023-2024 will be given by Dr. Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of theology and Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Dr. Reynolds will present public lectures on Sunday, September 17 at 7.30 p.m. in 156 Schwartz, and on Monday, September 18, in 205 Schwartz. He will also deliver a short workshop presentation for members of the university community on Monday afternoon. 

Dr. Reynolds is one of the world's leading scholars on Qur'anic Studies, the origins of Islam, and Muslim-Christian relations. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale University. In addition to his teaching at the University of Notre Dame, he has been a visiting professor at the Lebanese American University, Beirut, the Université de Saint Joseph, Beirut, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. 

Among his books are Allah: God in the Qur'an (2020); The Qurʾan and the Bible: Text and Commentary (2018); The Emergence of Islam (2012; Arabic translation, 2017); New Perspectives on the Qurʾān: The Qurʾān in Its Historical Context (2011); The Qurʾān and Its Biblical Subtext (2010); and The Qurʾān in Its Historical Context (2008). 

“Professor Reynolds’ scholarship addresses central questions in the contemporary world, particularly concerning religious tradition, interreligious dialogue and understanding, and the nature and character of cooperation. His reputation as a scholar and his extensive knowledge of Islamic and Christian traditions make him an ideal speaker for the lecture series,” says Dr. William Sweet, Chair of the StFX Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee. 

On Sunday evening, Dr. Reynolds will speak on “To Whom does Abraham Belong? An Exploration of Abraham in Islamic Tradition.” Organizers say in this lecture he will discuss how the Qur’an presents a key figure in the ‘Abraham,ic religions’ or Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – Abraham – and how the Qur’an claims Islam alone to be faithful to Abraham’s teaching.  

On September 18, Dr. Reynolds will speak on “Catholicism Engaging with Islam and Muslims: From Vatican II until Today.” In this lecture, Dr. Reynolds will present sections of the Vatican II documents Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate that deal with Islam. Organizers say this spirit of respect and admiration for Muslims is echoed by Pope Francis, who has travelled to Egypt, Iraq, and Abu Dhabi to meet high level Muslim officials. While certain circles of Catholic theology continue to search for ways of making common theological declarations with Muslims, Dr. Reynolds will suggest that there is another approach to Islam that might bear fruit for Christianity. 

For further information on the series, please contact Dr. Sweet at @email  or (902) 867-2341.