ISLAM AMONG THE SPIRES
AN OXFORD REVERIE

Kenneth Cragg


Centres of Christian Studies lie below a far horizon in the Universities of Riyadh or Qum. The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, active since 1985, awaits splendid new buildings on a site made available by Magdalen College, approved by the City Council and the Hebdomadal Council of the University. Its mosque, library, lecture hall and student housing will set their minaret among ‘the dreaming spires’ of Matthew Arnold’s Victorian, wryly wistful, veneration. This occasion, due to take landscape-shape among them, deserves an intellectual celebration from within Oxford’s long Christian tradition, duly tempered by the self-doubt of authentic academies. What, then, might a ‘Reverie’—no more—around the presence and the programme of the Islamic Centre visualise of its agenda and how it sees itself? How may it address a widening global perplexity around self-intrinsic faiths? How readily be alert to human situations belonging to the world of all of us?

ISLAM AMONG THE SPIRES ventures some reflection on the issues, seeing how aptly they cluster around notable Oxonians of recent centuries. In his long and distinguished career, Kenneth Cragg held ecclesiastical and academic posts in the Middle East where he was a Bishop in the Jerusalem (Anglican) jurisdiction from 1970-85. He also served as Warden of the Central College of the Anglican Communion at Canterbury from 1961-67 and held Visiting Lectureships in the USA, He was an Hon. DD of the University of Leeds, was formerly Bye-Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and was an Hon. Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He served as Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford.

216 x 135 mm, 232 pages
paperback £12.50
ISBN 1 901764 18 4

2000

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