Al-Ghazālī’s Reading of the Fourth Gospel

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Religions and Mysticism, Faculty of Theology and Islamic Studies, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Lecturer, Hellenic Open University, Greece.


Throughout their long history of theological debates, both Christians and Muslims have studied and challenged one another’s beliefs and Scriptures. From the ninth century onward, Muslims have studied the Bible and criticized Christian Trinitarian doctrines. Similarly, al-Ghazālī, a famous Muslim philosopher and theologian wrote a treatise to challenge the divinity of Jesus. Since in his view Christians have identified Jesus with God in accordance with the fourth Gospel, he focuses on this Gospel and interprets it in a way to refute the divinity of Jesus. He suggests a metaphorical interpretation of this Gospel, and therefore, studies all of its complicated verses in figurative, rather than literal, terms. By doing so, he concludes Jesus was a human being, not a divine being as Christians believe.


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