The Jihad of Jesus
The Sacred Nonviolent Struggle for Justice
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
188 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.38 in
- Published: May 2015
- Published: May 2015
- Published: May 2015
We are caught up in the cycle of so-called "holy wars." In The Jihad of Jesus, Dave Andrews argues that while this inter-communal conflict is endemic, it is not inevitable. Depending on our understanding, our religions can be either a source of escalating conflict or a resource for overcoming inter-communal conflict; and for our religions to be a resource for overcoming conflict, we need to understand the heart of all true religion as open-hearted compassionate spirituality. In the light of an open-hearted compassionate spirituality, we can reclaim the word "jihad" from extremists who have (mis)appropriated it as a call to "holy war," and reframe it, in truly Qur'anic terms, as a "sacred nonviolent struggle for justice"; and we can reconsider Jesus, as he is in the Gospels, not as a poster boy for Christians fighting crusades against Muslims, but as "a strong-but-gentle Messianic figure" who can bring Christians and Muslims together. As this book shows, many Christians and Muslims have found Isa (Jesus) and the Bismillah (celebrating the mercy, grace, and compassion of God) as common ground upon which they can stand and work for the common good. The Jihad of Jesus is a handbook for reconciliation and action: a do-it-yourself guide for all Christians and Muslims who want to move beyond the "clash of civilizations," join the jihad of Jesus, and struggle for justice and peace nonviolently side by side.
"Dave Andrews [is] one of the leading prophetic voices of our time."
--Mike Riddell, Pastor, Activist, Author
"Things I [have been] thinking, but had been afraid to say out loud, Dave [has been] saying boldly. . . . He speaks to my soul in a way that nobody else does."
--Brian McLaren, Pastor, Activist, and Author
"Dave's reflections demonstrate that Muslims and Christians have much to teach to and learn from each other . . . ."
--Halim Rane, Griffith Islamic Studies Research Unit, Brisbane, Australia
"There is no doubt in my heart that the best way of building bridges of understanding is through respectful dialogue. . . . Dave's approach will surely help us get closer to this noble end."
--Mohamad Abdalla, Griffith Islamic Research Unit, Brisbane, Australia
"I encourage all who are seeking to follow Jesus beyond the bounds of institutional 'Christianity' to read and discuss this important book."
--Wes Howard-Brook, Seattle University
'Dave Andrews (is) one of the leading prophetic voices of our time.'
Mike Riddell - Prominent Christian Pastor, Activist and Author of Godzone and Sacred Journey - Spiritual Wisdom for Times of Transition.
'Things I (have been) thinking, but had been afraid to say out loud, Dave (has been) saying boldly. Ideas I (have been) tentatively considering, he has already been living for years. I've seen the beautiful things he has been doing in a particularly challenging neighborhood. You'll see in Dave's writings that he is highly knowledgeable, not only from an academic standpoint, but also from a grass-roots, experiential level. His writing on these subjects grows from what he has done on the ground. He speaks to my soul in a way that nobody else does.'
Brian McLaren - Prominent Christian Pastor, Activist and Author of Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?
'Dave Andrews is a man whose life reflects consciousness of God. His personal piety, kindnesses to others and service to the needy are manifestations of Dave's God-consciousness. Dave's reflections demonstrate that Muslims and Christians have much to teach to and learn from each other in respect to navigating a path towards God and living according to God's will.'
Dr. Halim Rane - Associate Professor, Griffith University, and Deputy Director, Griffith Islamic Studies Research Unit (GIRU), Brisbane, Australia.
'Dave Andrews speaks and writes as a committed Christian actively engaged in the lives of people of all faith traditions, especially those marginalized by dominant cultures. His book situates Christian-Muslim dialogue not in abstractions or dogma, but in the practical concerns of people seeking dignity, respect and fullness of life. I encourage all who are seeking to follow Jesus beyond the bounds of institutional "Christianity" to read and discuss this important book.'
Wes Howard-Brook, Seattle University, Author of "Come Out, My People!" - God's Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond.
'Dave Andrews is already known for his positive work with both (Muslim and Christian) communities. Dave's concern undoubtedly stems from compassion, that which the Qur'ān refers to when it declares: '… After those [messengers] We sent Jesus the son of Mary: We gave him the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers…' (57:27). There is no doubt in my heart that the best way of building bridges of understanding is through respectful dialogue. Meeting people and allowing for genuine and respectful engagement helps us to grow and nurture our humanness. Dave's approach will surely help us get closer to this noble end.'
Dr. Mohamad Abdalla - Associate Professor, Griffith University, Director, Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) and Director, Queensland node of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (NCEIS), Australia.
'Dave Andrews is that rare mix - rigorous intellect, passionate activist, theologian and artist, theorist and practitioner - committed to real life at the sharp end. The Jihad of Jesus is an essential read for anyone curious about "the central conflict of our times" - about how two great Abrahamic faiths, rooted in traditions of justice, love and peace, have motivated such violence, wreaking havoc and destruction from ancient Crusades to 9/11, 7/7 and the War on Terror. Dave digs deep into the history, culture and tradition of Islam and Christianity and the implications of "the struggle" for both Christian and Muslim are explored in detail, from the global story, right in to your neighborhood. Dave works hard to rebalance distorted perspectives, rediscovering the rudiments of faith and bringing fresh insights (that) bring contrasting traditions and distinctive world-views together, to inspire peace and development. This book (is) highly recommended.'
Andy Turner - Community worker and Chair of Greenbelt - 'Creating Spaces Where Arts, Faith And Justice Collide' - UK.
'I honestly believe (Dave) has the character that we should be embodying - (better than a majority of Muslims) - and I think that's why he has this affect on us (not being Christian). Surely refinement of character only comes with purifying one's understanding of religion. I've always been perceived by some as 'conservative', but throughout his reflections (on the Bismillah) I was in awe, because it was as if he was either reading my mind or taking the words off my tongue. May Allah grant him eternal happiness. Ameen.'
Riffat Gurdezi - Northside Da'wah Revival, Brisbane Australia.
'The Jihad of Jesus is an engaging book which tackles honestly and courageously some of the thorniest issues around religion and political violence. It translates scholarly works into fluent and moving language, provides a critical history of Christianity and Islam, and encourages a re-reading of the original intentions of these religious traditions which has the potential to inspire many to move away from violence in their moral and political struggles.'
Dr. Alexandre Christoyannopoulos - Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK.
'This book pulls no punches. It explains clearly some of the difficult history of violence carried out in the name of Christianity and Islam throughout the centuries. It should be read by all those who want to dedicate themselves to the path of peace.'
Andrew Pratt - Advisor and Coordinator, Inter-faith Work, Blackburn Diocese,
and Former Chief Superintendent, National Community Tension Team, UK.
'This is a greatly needed book. If Christians and Muslims could do more struggling together for mutual understanding and for genuine peace, the 'War against Terror' could actually be won. Dave's book is one of the very few books available today that promotes a solution right at the problematic root of the bitter fruit of terrorism and counter-terrorism. This book gives us insight into what types of blindness, ideology and cruelty underpin the clash between the self-righteous overpowering global dominance of the West, and deeply wounded Islamic piety. The West, and Western Christians, must face our own demons and renounce of our global imperialism and violence, and the Islamic world must likewise face the fact that aiding and abetting the one-eyed violent fanaticism of religious extremists simply keeps the cycle of horror going. The common resources for genuine peace are already there, in Christianity and Islam, in the non-violent struggle for justice of the Messiah or Masih - known as Jesus to Christians and Isa to Muslims. In The Jihad of Jesus, Dave Andrews points out how both faiths have entrenched histories of rejecting Jesus/Isa as an example of nonviolence whilst perpetrated horrifying violent atrocities in the name of God. Equally, both Christians and Muslims have astonishing exemplars of the kind of the radical, sacrificial, non-violent reconciliation modeled by Jesus/Isa. The Jihad of Jesus points us away from the ongoing cycle of violence perpetuated in order to gain some illusory 'total victory' over 'the other', and towards reconciliation, collaboration and transformation'.
Dr. Paul Tyson, Hon. Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham, UK, and Author of Returning To Reality.
'Jihad is a much abused term but most Muslims know that the greater Jihad is not to use force but to use what Gandhi called 'Soul force' to resist temptation and evil. In The Jihad of Jesus, Dave Andrews gives us some important and tested observations on the sources of violence and both the reason and the means for resistance, and he does so by drawing on the wisdom of both Muslim and Christian scholarship and experience. Dave Andrews books come from the heart but also from open and hard-working hands: from his own experiments in compassionate resistance to the violence of this age. For purposeful interfaith engagement with the world as it is I very much recommend this book.'
Dr. Keith Hebden - Editor of A Pinch of Salt, Author of Seeking Justice, Pioneer Minister and 'Seeking Justice' Advisor, Mansfield, UK.
'The Jihad of Jesus is a manual for waging jihad. And make no mistake; Dave Andrews wants you to wage jihad. Not the violent jihad of extremists; but a 'strong yet gentle nonviolent struggle'. Dave's model for this is Jesus: the jihad of Jesus. Drawing on the teachings of both Christian and Muslim scholars and faith examples from both traditions he presents Jesus as the supreme example of jihad. This is challenging stuff. Dave does not shy away from the litany of horror perpetrated in religions name. But just as you want to turn away and scream 'enough!' Dave leads the reader towards a deeply compassionate and nonviolent reading of jihad, teachings which are found in the Qur'an as well as the Bible. This is a book that proceeds with that rare combination of care and urgency. With Jesus as his guide Dave argues that the meaning of jihad is to transform ourselves into living examples of love and to fight injustice with the tools of nonviolent action. This is the jihad that threatens tyrants and empires of all stripes. This is the jihad we need.'
Dr. Jason MacLeod - Religious Society of Friends, Academic Advisor for the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, Washington DC, USA.