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Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie

Ed. by Schwöbel, Christoph

Together with Andersen, Svend / Bayer, Oswald / Brom, Luco / Coakley, Sarah / Hermanni, Friedrich / Jeanrond, Werner / Pilgrim Lo, Wing-Kwong / Saarinen, Risto / Sparn, Walter / Storrar, William / Volf, Miroslav


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Volume 60, Issue 1

Issues

An Angelic Jesus?

A Medieval Muslim Quest for an Alternative Christology

Lejla Demiri
  • Corresponding author
  • Zentrum für Islamische Theologie, Universität Tübingen, Rümelinstr. 27, 72070 Tübingen, GermanyUniversität TübingenZentrum für Islamische TheologieRümelinstr. 2772070 TübingenGermany
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Published Online: 2018-03-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nzsth-2018-0002

Summary

This paper offers a close reading of the Muslim theologian Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī’s (d. 716/1316) five treatises in which he describes Jesus in angelic terms, asserting that in his nature Jesus was an angel, but in form a human being. It also provides a thorough analysis of Ṭūfī’s scriptural arguments for the notion of an angelic Jesus. The question of his possible sources is further addressed. Are there any Christian writings that describe Jesus in angelic terms? If so, how do they relate to Ṭūfī’s ‘angel-natured Jesus’? Pointing out a number of early Christian textual traditions that clearly bear marks of the notion of an angelic Jesus, the paper then sheds light upon those sources that may have led to a milieu that ultimately influenced Ṭūfī’s opinion. Ṭūfī’s reference to an angelic Jesus and his willingness to incorporate it into his own Christology suggest that at least some features of angel Christology must have been still ‘in the air’ in the early 14th century Egyptian context.

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Beitrag unternimmt eine detailgenaue Untersuchung der fünf Abhandlungen des muslimischen Theologen Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfīs (716/1316), in denen er Jesus als Engelwesen beschreibt, indem er die Auffassung vertritt, dass Jesus seinem Wesen nach Engel, in seiner Gestalt aber Mensch war. Darüber hinaus werden die Schriftargumente Ṭūfīs für seine Sicht Jesu als eines Engelwesens einer genauen Analyse unterzogen. In diesem Zusammenhang wird die Frage seiner möglichen Quellen diskutiert. Gibt es christliche Schriften, die Jesus als Engelwesen darstellen? In welchem Verhältnis stehen sie zu Ṭūfīs Sicht eines angelischen Jesus? Ausgehend von einigen frühchristlichen Textüberlieferungen, die eindeutig Kennzeichen von Jesus als Engelwesen beinhalten, führt der Beitrag die Quellen vor, die möglicherweise ein Milieu haben entstehen lassen, das letztlich Ṭūfīs Auffassung beeinflusst hat. Ṭūfīs Sicht Jesu als eines Engelwesens und seine Bereitschaft, diese Sicht in seine eigene Christologie aufzunehmen, legen die Vermutung nahe, dass zumindest einige Elemente einer Engelchristologie im frühen 14ten Jahrhundert im ägyptischen Kontext im Umlauf waren.

Keywords: Angel; Bible; Exegesis; Jesus; Qur’an; Ṭūfī

Schlüsselwörter: Engel; Bibel; Exegese; Jesus; Koran; Ṭūfī

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About the article

Published Online: 2018-03-07

Published in Print: 2018-02-26


Citation Information: Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie, Volume 60, Issue 1, Pages 21–43, ISSN (Online) 1612-9520, ISSN (Print) 0028-3517, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nzsth-2018-0002.

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