Psalms, Islam, and Shalom: A Common Heritage of Divine Songs for Muslim-Christian Friendship

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$24.00  $22.32
Fortress Press
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.13 X 1.42 inches | 2.95 pounds

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About the Author

Rev. Dr. Eric Sarwar (PhD, Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary) has a three-dimensional ministerial calling: musician, minister, and missiologist. He received his classical music training from his grandfather, Dr. Mohan Lal, in North Indian musicology and grew up immersed in the traditional rhythms and rhymes of Pakistan's music culture. Pursuing his call to ministry, he earned a and later a master's in Islamic history at Karachi University. He completed his MDiv at Gujranwala Theological Seminary. He was ordained in the Karachi Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan and installed at the First Presbyterian Church in Karachi. Along with church planting and inspired intuition, he established Pakistan's first-ever Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship. He acquired advanced leadership training at Haggai Institute in Hawaii. After serving as a pastor and peacemaker in Pakistan for twelve years, he finished a ThM in worship studies at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.


"A compelling study of the power of ancient, biblical poetry and sung prayer to express the deep cries of human hearts, to shape moments of profound encounter and recognition across religious and cultural divides, and to bear witness to the love of God in a hurting world. Dr. Sarwar's life of ministry and study has been a profound witness to the themes explored in this book--and now it is a gift to us to have the insights and convictions that have guided his ministry in written form. May many future pastoral leaders and students learn to return to the Psalms, to receive the gift of sung prayer, and to stretch beyond their comfort zones to reach out to others in peace-shaping, shalom-seeking ways." --John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Psalms, Islam, and Shalom features Punjabi and Pakistani singers, songwriters, and other voices resounding as both Christian and Muslim witnesses that reverberate with comparative musicological, liturgical, hermeneutical, theological, and missiological implications and applications. Church, mosque, and academy will be resonating with Sarwar's intonations for the next decade-plus!" --Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Rev. Dr. Eric Sarwar's groundbreaking and timely book challenges the church, not least in Pakistan, to recognize the limitations of traditional mission methods and to engage in new, creative, contextual missional approaches for the twenty-first century. In particular, Dr. Sarwar highlights the importance of 'worship as witness' as he focuses on how vernacular translations of the Psalms, composed in cultural music styles, open up a third space for creative conversations with Islam. I warmly commend this book, especially to those eager to explore new frontiers in the mission of God." --Rev. Uel Marrs, Global Mission Secretary, The Presbyterian Church in Ireland

"Rev. Dr. Eric Sarwar has produced a magisterial study of the Psalms in the context of the Qur'an. He masterfully imagines scriptural engagement of various religious traditions on the common ground of the Psalms, which leads to innovative peace-building initiatives and enhances interfaith relationships. This book is a must-read primer for anyone interested in the wider application of the Psalms from musical, poetic, historic, and liturgical viewpoints in interfaith contexts. The book will be an ideal resource for students and scholars of music, art, theology, history, biblical studies, Islamic studies, interfaith studies, as well as for lay people." --Dr. Thea Gomelauri, founder of the Psalms in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group; director of the Oxford Interfaith Forum

"This book and the research behind it are important missiological contributions to interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians through the use of the Psalms. Dr. Sarwar 'unmutes the prophetic voice of David, ' who is revered in both Islamic and Christian traditions. In an approach that is culturally relevant and contextually sensitive, Dr. Sarwar seeks a 'sur-sangam' convergence in Indic musicality and the traditional ragas form to bring together culturally appropriate Christian witness in Psalm Festivals and other opportunities for Christian-Muslim dialogue. Dr. Sarwar offers practical recommendations for continued dialogue and witness in the Pakistani context and among the diaspora. I highly recommend this book as a new and creative approach to interfaith dialogue." --Rev. Greg Sinclair, Diaspora Ministry Leader, Resonate Global Mission, Hamilton, Ontario