By Josiah Ryan
“The head of the religion department at Luther College in Iowa recently argued that Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, was in fact, a Muslim.
“‘Was Jesus a Muslim?” asks Prof. Robert F. Shedinger in the beginning of a book he published this year entitled Was Jesus a Muslim? ” I will answer with a very qualified yes.”
In a recent interview Shedinger also defended his controversial thesis explaining that a Muslim undergraduate student had sent him on academic odyssey that culminated with him asking himself “Was Jesus a Muslim?”
“Even as a Christian I have to answer yes to that,” said Shedinger, who is the head of the religion department at Luther College in Iowa.
Shedinger also argued that Islam is a better fit for Jesus since it is not a religion but a “social justice movement.”
“I had to rethink what Islam is… I came to the conclusion that it was a social justice movement and I think that’s who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim,” he said.
The vast majority of scholars, historians, Muslims, and Christians date the birth of Islam to 622 ADE when the Prophet Muhammad claimed to have received visions that were eventually compiled into the Koran. Jesus, on the other hand, is believed to have existed more than 600 years earlier, at around 0 BCE.
A spokesman for Luther College, a small liberal arts school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, told Campus Reform on Wednesday that the administration stands fully behind Shedinger’s scholarship.
“The administration is very very comfortable with the proposal, with the book, and with what his statements about this situation are,” said Jerry Johnson, the school’s Director of Public Information. ”[T]he ground he is breaking with this book is not anything exactly earthshaking.”
Johnson added that Shedinger’s thesis had not stirred up on any controversy or opposition on campus where “the members or our religion department are very respecting and have great respect for each other’s work.”
Campus Reform was unable to contact Prof. Shedinger in time for publication.”
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