Abu Daoud on Zakaria Botros

I have recently published in St Francis Magazine a short article/book review on Abouna Zakaria Botros. Here is an excerpt:

I believe that Botros is an example of contextualized ministry
par excellence. This might sound like a strange thing to say today
when contextualization and a non-polemical approach are seen as
inseparable. Au contraire. Contextual witness does not mean be-
ing nice, and it certainly does not mean refraining from criticism of
the Prophet of Islam or its book. What contextualization means is
that you are asking the questions to which people want to know an-
swers. A basic example of this is the now commonplace insight
that Arabs are more moved by honor-shame questions than inno-
cence-guilt ones. That is context. And Abouna does this very
well: Muslims want to know about Muhammad, the shari’a, the
ahadiith, and so on. They want to know how Islam can (or cannot)
be al haal, the solution, as other great Egyptians have argued (Al
Banna? Qutb?). And Botros is uniquely prepared to address these
questions: for one, his Arabic is excellent, which might not mean a
lot to people who have not studied the language, but understand
that classical Arabic and common Egyptian Arabic are about as
close to each other as Latin and modern Italian. (OK, maybe that’s
a little bit of a stretch, but not much.) His skills in Arabic permit
him to delve into the copious volumes of traditions about the life of
the Prophet and Islamic shari’a. Egypt asks Zakaria: in what way
can Islam be the solution? Zakaria responds: this is the life of the
Prophet and the law of Islam; you make your own decision.

Read it all at SFM:
Abu Daoud, 'Observations on Abuna Zakaria Botros (and a Book Review)' in St Francis Magazine, Vol 5:5, Oct 2009, pp 93-8.

A list of all my SFM publications can be found on the right-hand side of the screen, FYI.


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