A healing view of the ‘other’

Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column November 8, 2023.

On October 7, the same day Hamas launched an attack on Israel, I was finishing a book on the Crusades written by a celebrated Lebanese author. The book recounts the Crusades as seen by Arabs, with the author quoting extensively from Muslim historians of that period. It illustrates how the Arab view of that time differs markedly from the Western view, which is still influencing events today.

This left me pondering how we perceive the “other,” especially in the context of the Middle East.

That adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam trace their history back to Abraham is often referenced as a unifying common element. But I’ve found myself especially inspired by something Jesus said: “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

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