Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: "I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both."Well, which is stranger? Believing that one can be totally Christian and Muslim, or believing that one can be totally human and divine?
Redding doesn't feel she has to resolve all the contradictions. People within one religion can't even agree on all the details, she said. "So why would I spend time to try to reconcile all of Christian belief with all of Islam?
"At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That's all I need."
She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word "Islam."
"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
"I could not not be a Muslim."
...Frank Spina, an Episcopal priest and also a professor of Old Testament and biblical theology at Seattle Pacific University, puts it bluntly.
"I just do not think this sort of thing works," he said. "I think you have to give up what is essential to Christianity to make the moves that she has done."
Jun 17, 2007
a woman of two faiths
Today's religious installment from the Times concerns a woman who has not one, but two faiths.