This video presentation was made on January 9, 2014 by Dr. Mark Durie, noted Australian theologian, scholar and author at the Irwin and H. Ethel Hausman Memorial Lecture Series at Ahavath Toral Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. A reprise of Dr. Durie's lecture on The Abrahamic Fallacies occurred on January 21, 2014 at an event sponsored by the Children of Holocaust Survivors in Los Angeles. In the presentation Dr. Durie discusses the fallacies of the Abrahamic religions concept less than 70 years ago used as a predicate for interfaith dialogs among christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. He provides evidence of the underlying theological differences, as well as the dangers of engaging in such dialogues. In his conclusion, Durie notes;
"The concept of “Abrahamic faiths” is a fallacy. Its contemporary influence was, tragically, born out of a century of Christian suffering in the Middle East and foisted upon the unsuspecting West. It is reasonable to ask whether this is a theological Trojan horse designed to promote an Islamic worldview of relations between faiths.
By all means, let us discuss Abraham and what he stands for in different faiths, and note that the narratives of the three monotheistic faiths reference Abraham. But it is unwise to take Abraham as a touchstone of unity and theological continuity. On the contrary, the name of Abraham stands for the profound divisions between the three monotheistic faiths."
Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992. He is the author of The Third Choice, Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom