Was Jesus a Model for Muhammad?

The inaugural Terence Nichols Memorial Symposium featuring Younus Mirza

Date & Time:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m.


Free and open to the public


O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul campus

Younus Y. Mirza, Ph.D.

Younus Y. Mirza, Ph.D.

Georgetown Visiting Researcher Younus Mirza will challenge notions that narratives about Jesus and Mary in the Qur'an are always in opposition to those of Christianity. Scholarship on 'Christian' narratives in the Qur'an often emphasize how the Qur'anic Jesus is different than the Christian Jesus. In Islam, Jesus is seen as a prophet, whereas in Christianity, Jesus is seen as the Son of God. However, recent scholarship sheds light on the fact that Muhammad and his followers identified with Jesus and Mary, and that the Qur'an encourages the believing community to be like Jesus' disciples. While there are no doubt verses that are critical of the Trinity and of the view that Jesus is divine, there are other narratives that suggest that the early Muslim community saw Christian figures as sources of inspiration.

Dr. Younus Y. Mirza is a visiting researcher at Georgetown University and Scholar in Residence at Shenandoah University. He earned his doctorate in Arabic and and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University, and has taught at Millsaps and Allegheny Colleges. His current research focuses on the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an and the shared stories between them. Most recently, he co-authored The Bible and the Qur’an: Biblical Figures in the Islamic Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2018) with Dr. John Kaltner. He has published in various journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of Qur’anic Studies, and Christian-Muslim Relations. He teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic movements, Biblical and Qur’anic prophets, marriage and sexuality in Islam, and Islam and other religions.

Dr. Terence Nichols, former chair of the Department of Theology, was co-director of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center on the campus of the University of St. Thomas from 2007 until his untimely death in 2014. For the greater part of his life, Terry put his heart and soul into dialogue with Muslims. We dedicate this yearly lecture series to his memory. 

Sponsored by the Theology Department's Theological Encounters Program: Encountering Islam and cosponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.