A major and substantial step toward better Christian/Muslim relations was taken in 2008. The initiative, called A Common Word Between Us and You, began with a desire to create a pathway to peace through focusing the attention of leaders of the Islamic and Christian faiths, faiths whose adherents comprise over half of the world's population, on their shared values and beliefs-especially the love of God and the neighbor, rather than on their differences. Because of its exceptional significance, Sophia has chosen to celebrate this dialogue by printing several documents that have become part of A Common Word initiative. Included are: His Holiness Benedict XVI's address to the Vatican Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams' response to the Open Letter, HRH Ghazi bin Muhammad's essay on the theological motives and expectations behind the initiative, two articles by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Reza Shah-Kazemi's paper on "God as 'The Loving' in Islam," an overview of the Vatican Conference by Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish theologian who was the Muslim spokesperson, and the Final Declaration of the Vatican Conference. In addition to the Common Word documents and articles, this issue includes articles by Osman Bakar on "Cultural Symbiosis" and Rusmir Mahmutćehajić on "The Virgin Mary in the Mihrabs of Bosnia," both of which resonate with the message of the call to "come to a common word" by addressing shared values and histories between Christianity and Islam and underscoring the urgent need for understanding between these great faiths.
Rowan Williams, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, HH Pope Benedict XVI, Paperback, ISBN 10: 097984293X, ISBN 13: 9780979842931