Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life, along with the Oasis Foundation of Milan, Italy, has launched a new video series, Reasons for Our Hope, as part of an effort to promote Islamic-Christian understanding.
The first fruits of the project are three animated videos that seek to teach both Muslims and Christians about the theology animating their respective faiths. In doing so, the videos aim to show the “coherence” of each religion, while also showing where Islam and Christianity overlap, and where they differ.
In a press release announcing the video series, the McGrath Institute quoted St. John Paul II, who in his message to the Church for the new millennium (Novo Millennio Ineunte) emphasized the importance of dialogue.
“The name of the one God must become increasingly what it is: a name of peace and a summons to peace. Dialogue, however, cannot be based on religious indifferentism, and we Christians are in duty bound, while engaging in dialogue, to bear clear witness to the hope that is within us,” wrote the saint.
The three videos, which can be viewed below, cover (1) Salvation history in Islam and Christianity, (2) Jesus in the Qur’an, and (3) Jesus in the Bible. They are also available on the project’s YouTube channel.
The Reason for Our Hope project comes at a time of promise for Muslim/Christian relations.
“Islamic-Christian dialogue has gained new momentum thanks to Pope Francis,” reads the press release announcing the project.
Pope Francis has visited numerous Muslim countries, including most recently Iraq. He co-authored the Document on Human Fraternity with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, in order to emphasize a common vision of humanity among Christians and Muslims.
In a historic speech addressed to an audience of both Muslims and Christians, Pope Francis called for greater understanding and dialogue between the faiths.
“There will be no peace without sharing and acceptance, without a justice that ensures equity and advancement for all, beginning with those most vulnerable. There will be no peace unless peoples extend a hand to other peoples,” he said.
The McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame is dedicated to supporting the Church in its pastoral work and connecting the Catholic intellectual life to the life of the Church. The Oasis Foundation, established by Cardinal Angelo Scola, “fosters mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims within the global context.”
Watch the first three videos below: