Jesus plays a central role in the Islamic tradition and offers a rich entry point into Christian-Muslim dialogue. Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., will lead this study of the person and mission of Jesus as presented in Muslim sacred scripture – the Qur’an. Students will assess the Qur’an’s significance for Muslim faith and practice, examine Qur’anic passages related to Jesus, and reflect on the role and importance of Mary, Jesus’ mother as outlined in the Qur’an. Along the way, students will analyze how Muslim Qur’an commentators have interpreted the Qur’anic content related to Jesus and Mary while discussing useful and interesting ways to engage in interreligious dialogue today.
Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., is an affiliated faculty member at Virginia Theological Seminary. Her areas of expertise include Global Christianity, Contemporary Islamic Ethics, and Nursi Studies. Before coming to VTS, she taught at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. She currently also serves as Muslim Scholar at the Institute for Islamic-Christian-Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Sayilgan obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Islamic Studies and Law at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany in 2004. In 2008, she graduated from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut with a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations. From 2014-2015, Dr. Sayilgan was the senior fellow for Peace and Reconciliation and Luce Visiting Muslim Scholar at the Seminary’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies. Her doctoral research at Georgetown University’s theology department focused on the intersection of Islamic theology and immigration.