The unfinished agenda: the great Munāz̤ara of 1854 and ‘Imād-ud-dīn’s contribution to the Muslim-Christian debates in nineteenth-century India.

Kamil, Magsood Pervaiz (2019) The unfinished agenda: the great Munāz̤ara of 1854 and ‘Imād-ud-dīn’s contribution to the Muslim-Christian debates in nineteenth-century India. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. [Thesis]

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This thesis examines the contribution made by a convert to the theological issues in Muslim-Christian debates in nineteenth-century India. The man in focus here is, arguably, the most important Muslim convert to Christianity from the fledgling stage of Christianity in the Punjab, India - Mawlwī Reverend Doctor ‘Imād-ud-dīn Lahiz. This study is a result of an immersion into thirty of his books, a good number of which remain inaccessible to most, both because they are not in print anymore and also because they are largely in the Urdu language. It combines this immersion with engagements with a large number of contemporary sources both Muslim and missionary in order to focus on the agenda of the famous Agra Debate of 1854, and examine ‘Imād-ud-dīn’s contribution to it. In doing so, it builds upon and complements earlier works on the Agra munāz̤ara and on ‘Imād-ud-dīn.

This thesis addresses a gap in studies on the Muslim-Christian debates following the Great Debate and the place of ‘Imād-ud-dīn in its aftermath. ‘Imād-ud-dīn, it is argued, stepped into the gap Pfander left and this was, as Powell points out, in need of a fresh and full consideration. The agenda of the Agra Debate consisted of the issues of naskh (abrogation), taḥrīf (alteration of the Bible), tathlīth (Trinity), Muhammad, and the Qur’ān. Only the first two of the five topics were debated. In the four Parts of this thesis, Imād-ud-dīn is located in his historical-theological background in Agra and an argument made to demonstrate the specific elements of his insights into the topics, both those that were covered and those that were not covered in the Great Debate. In this sense the argument is made that Imād-ud-dīn helped complete an unfinished agenda besides making a significant contribution to the nineteenth-century context of Christian-Muslim debates.

This work is both historically and theologically significant because: i. This is the first research into the primary sources undertaken by a Punjabi Christian from South Asia. ii. It seeks to contribute to broadening one’s awareness of the theologies of Muslim converts to Christianity in general, and South Asian converts in particular. iii. It attempts to illuminate a period of Indian history, which though not always helpful, encouraged open and honest interfaith debates on issues of sacred texts, faith and belief. iv. It contributes to the existing secondary literature and challenges the long held belief about the outcome of the Great Debate; in so doing, it shows that it was the unfinished agenda from this debate that Imād-ud-dīn sought to complete and thus provide a fresh impetus to Christian-Muslim munāz̤arat in the nineteenth-century and beyond.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 29911
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 10:32
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 15:27

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