April 10-May 15, 9:45am in the Community Center

I don’t know about you, but I often feel Christians are misrepresented in the media, especially when certain public figures become representatives of “all Christians.”

Could you imagine being a Muslim in the United States today?

I was a Religious Studies major at the University of Oregon, but my knowledge of Islam has waned since college. I have worked with several Muslim youth over the years who were involved in Young Life or were friends of Bethesda kids. We recently had a son of a Muslim father and Christian mother attend three years of Confirmation with his Bethesda friend. Even so, I don’t possess much close knowledge of Islam or enjoy many ongoing relationships with Muslims.

This spring’s class comes out of a desire to learn more about this religion which professes One God and claims Abraham as father, as do we. This desire increased as I’ve observed the political climate around Islam in this election year. I need to fill in my own understanding and want to hold a respectful curiosity about this religion which professes Jesus as the sinless Messiah and Prophet, born of a virgin, returning at the end of history to prepare the world for the final judgment. Did you know Jesus is a significant figure in Islam?

This class will be a mixture of lecture, media, discussion, and special guests. The schedule is to be determined as guests are scheduled, but the topics will include:

  • Comparison of Christian and Islamic theology, including their beliefs about Jesus (Isa)
  • Overview of Islamic history and the life of Mohammed.
  • Discussion and media addressing the current political climate around Muslims and Islamophobia
  • A look at controversial issues, including the history of Christian-Islam relations, Islam and violence/terrorism, the role of women, Islam’s relationship to democracy and the USA in particular
  • Missionaries, Scott and Vicki McCracken, who formerly served in Athens, Greece among many Muslim refugees and residents
  • Potential guests include a retired missionary, and also a current University of Oregon faculty member.

I encourage you to attend this class and bring your own experiences and insights to this important topic.