In his presentation, Dr. Messier spoke about the mystery surrounding the nature of Jesus, his humanness and divinity and the Muslim and Christian perceptions of Jesus and their interpretations of their scriptures that refer to him and the implications of those interpretations in the evolution of Christianity and the different sects within Islam. He focused on the message of peace and social justice as the core for understanding Jesus for both Muslims and Christians. Other participants in the roundtable discussion included Michael Braverman, John Wagner, Richard Johns, Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed, Louay Safi and Yaqub Mirza.
The book itself explores Jesus’s birth, his life as a perfect servant of God and his suffering in the service of God, his miracles, the events of Good Friday and Easter, the Ascension to heaven and Jesus coming again at the end of time. In his journey of exploration, Ron Messier discovers not only similarities, some of which are quite surprising, but also differences that are more often complementary than contradictory, inviting believers in each faith to reflect on their own images of Jesus, and perhaps, expand those images in light of what the other has to offer.
Dr. Ron Messier taught Islamic history and historical archaeology at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) from 1972 to 2004. He also taught archaeology at Vanderbilt University. He is currently president of the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar (SERMEISS) and president of the advisory board of the Society for Universal Dialogue.
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