School of Divinity

Gratitude: Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Over three international workshops funded by the Issachar Fund, leading scholars will examine the concept of gratitude from Christian and Muslim theological and philosophical perspectives.

Issachar Fund logo

Respective workshops will focus on the role of gratitude in the divine-human covenant, interpersonal relationships and the public sphere.

Both Islamic and Christian traditions emphasise the importance of divine gift-giving and gratitude (Ar. shukr) as the appropriate human response. Theological literature, however, has tended to focus on the divine action rather than the human response. As a result, relatively little has been written about the theology of gratitude and its role in the religious life.

Workshops

The three workshops will explore major themes and approaches in Islamic and Christian theologies and philosophies of gratitude. They will bring together scholarly perspectives from Islamic and Christian traditions and so provide a forum for discussion and mutual learning. They will cover three interdisciplinary areas of research:

Gratitude: Hope or Burden?

University of Edinburgh, 10-11 December 2018

Examining the role of gratitude in the divine-human covenant; whether gratitude is a virtue; whether there is an obligation to be grateful to God; the role of gratitude in the religious life.

This workshop welcomes papers from postgraduates which explore major themes and approaches in Islamic and Christian theologies of gratitude. See call for papers.

Gratitude: Love, Power and  Indebtedness  

Yale University, 28-30 August 2019

Gratitude a virtue and a tool, gratitude in society, education, economics, human relationships and more.

See the programme

Gratitude: Inclusion or Privilege?

British University in Dubai, 12-14 January 2020

Examining the role of gratitude in the public sphere; gratitude and civic engagement; gratitude, immigration and belonging; gratitude, globalization and the environment.

Outputs

Papers from the workshops will feature in an edited volume to be published 2020-2021.

 In partnership with the Christian Muslim Forum and Near Neighbours, the project held an event, ‘Gratitude in Community Work’, at Bradford Cathedral, 5 December 2019. The event was hosted by Bishop Toby Howarth and Mona Siddiqui, and featured presentations from Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and Kaneez Khan of Wellsprings Together. Two grassroots organisations, Touchstone and BIASAN, were recognised with the Issachar Fund Community Prize. More information about the event can be found here:

Gratitude and faith shared

 In collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art, the project also administered the Issachar Fund Art Prize, which was awarded to artist Soniya Ahmed for two paintings exploring the theme of gratitude. The news release for the prize can be found here:

Issachar Fund Art Prize news release

The University of Edinburgh has launched a podcast, Living Gratefully, in which well-known guests discuss gratitude, relationships and public discourse with Mona Siddiqui.

Living Gratefully podcast

 

Further information

For further information contact Mona Siddiqui and Nathanael Vette