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KCID-Book Series: Volume “The Concept of Freedom in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” published

It is our pleasure to introduce to you our first published volume “The Concept of Freedom in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” of the book series Key Concept in Interreligious Discourses (KCID) at de Gruyters.

This volume series investigates the roots of the concept of freedom in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and its relevance for the present time. The idea of freedom in terms of personal freedoms, which include freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and bodily integrity, is a relatively new one and can in some aspects get into conflict with religious convictions. At the same time, freedom as an emancipatory power from outer oppression as well as from inner dependencies is deeply rooted in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is still a vital concept in religious and non-religious communities and movements. The volume presents the concept of freedom in its different aspects as anchored in the traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It unfolds commonalities and differences between the three monotheistic religions as well as the manifold discourses about freedom within these three traditions. The book offers fundamental knowledge about the specific understanding of freedom in each one of these traditions, their interdependencies and their relationship to secular interpretations.

Epilogue

(by Prof. Dr. Georges Tamer and Dr. Katja Thörner)

Introduction

In many ways, an examination of the concept of freedom in Judaism, Christianity and Islam constitutes a highly interesting and sophisticated endeavor. With their conception of God as Creator and Almighty Ruler of the universe, these religions, basically, leave little room for the freedom and autonomy of the human being in terms of how these two concepts are currently understood in our age. As these religions teach that God made man from earth, i. e. from the lowest of the four natural elements, they place man in a radical relationship of dependence with a Creator whose nature is fundamentally different from that of his creatures and who exists on the other side of an unbridgeable ontological gap. Man existsin an essentially submissive position vis-à-vis God and powerless against His will – an idea implied in the account of creation in Judaism and Christianity and [more…]