Kenneth Cragg, 1913-2012


Bishop Kenneth Cragg died early on November 13 at his home in the College of St. Barnabas. His 100th birthday would have been in February 2013. He was Bishop of Jerusalem from 1970 to 1973.

The Rev. Ray Skinner of Mordern writes: ‘I am sure many will want to give thanks to God for his great love for and understanding of the world of Islam, and for his encouragement to so many of us in introducing Muslim friends to our crucified and risen Lord Jesus’.

Commending Christ to Muslims

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali writes: ‘Kenneth Cragg was one of the most distinguished Christian scholars of Islam in the 100 years that have spanned his life. While being clear about the nature of the gospel, he sought to be as sympathetic to the classical basis of Islam as it was possible for him as a Christian to be. In due course he developed a way of commending Christian faith according to the logic of Islam. Many have admired him for such an undertaking, even if they have known that such a project would not in the end succeed. Towards the end, while retaining his sympathy and depth of scholarship, he saw more clearly the fundamental differences between the two faiths, not least in their attitude to power. He was better known and respected in the Middle East and the Islamic world, both among Christians and Muslims, than he was in his own native land. His passing creates a gap in scholarship which needs to be filled by those committed to a rigorous study of languages, sources and the history of the world of Islam and of Muslim-Christian Encounter’.

The Call of the Minaret was his first book, but equally important was The Mind of the Qur’an and The Dome and the Rock.

Chris Sugden