Psalms, Islam, and Shalom

Psalms, Islam, and Shalom

Fortress Press

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For fourteen centuries, a gap of mutual suspicion and hostility has existed between Christians and Muslims, despite attempts to engage theologically, apologetically, polemically, and militarily (such as the Crusades). During the past four decades, increased Islamization in Pakistan has led to blasphemy laws, nationalization of Christian institutions, a state policy of religious and political profiling, and discrimination against followers of Jesus. Historic animosity has resulted in widespread violence and persecution. Amid such an environment, past efforts at reaching Muslims with the gospel have proved ineffective or even detrimental, highlighting a need for a different approach to engaging with Islamic culture.

Eric Sarwar's research, experience, and practice have uncovered the valuable and mostly untapped role of the biblical Psalms in fostering peaceful friendship with Muslims. The book of Psalms, called Zabor in Arabic, is a common heritage of divine song that can be used as a point of connection for public witness between Muslims and Christians. Especially in the Pakistani context, Psalms carries vast potential, in terms of both text and musical expression, as a bridge to peacemaking and missional engagement. Yet the book of Psalms has never been a significant part of witness to the Muslim world. Sarwar believes that can change.

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