Theology of Prophecy in Dialogue: Christian Prophetology in View of Judaism and Islam (DFG-research project)

The New Testament as well as the Church fathers refer extensively to the Prophets of the Old Testament and relate them, by means of typological exegesis, to Jesus Christ. However, in modern times this mode of interpreting the Prophets has undergone a serious crisis, for a number of reasons. So, there are currently no theological endeavours to develop a prophetology that would connect the Proprium of Christian theology with the Prophets while at the same time keeping in mind, in accordance with the insights of the theology of Israel, the distinct intrinsic value of Prophecy on the other. Academic research has already engaged with the Jewish view on Prophets as well as with the question, why from a Jewish perspective the Prophets’ messianic hopes are considered unfulfilled. But no attention has been yet paid to quranic prophetology in a Christological context. So, this is the starting point of our research project.

The quranic approach to prophetology is a challenge because it is, among other things, a criticism of Christology. Bu at the same time, this approach points at new ways of safeguarding what is special about the Prophets by means of a sort of typology disconnected from the pattern of promise and fulfilment. This is why the quranic approach could become an inspiration for the kind of Christian theology that wants to find its way out of supersessionism vis-à-vis Judaism. The objective of this project is to go along, as a Christian theological endeavour, with ongoing research (at the University of Paderborn) recasting, on the basis of the Quran, Muslim prophetology, and to employ this research so as to develop a Christian prophetology that will be aware of the theology of Israel.

Prophecy in Dialogue
© ZeKK

Furthermore, we intend to examine Sidney Griffith’s assumption that the Quran’s specific choice from among the Biblical Prophets can be explained as the outcome of a dialogue with Syriac memre literature. So, we shall cooperate with Syrian-Orthodox theologians in order to juxtapose the quranic loci with all relevant memre. At the same time, we will take into account relevant Rabbinic discourses and intertexts too, so as to achieve a reconstruction of the Quran’s historical ties to both religions.

The quranic prophetology that shall thus be reconstructed will become the starting point for conceiving a Christian reply. To this end, certain quranic prophetesses and prophets (namely Maria, Josef und David) shall be studied, with a new approach, from the point of view of Christian systematic theology. In this way, we shall develop an exemplary Christian prophetology that does not abolish the prophecy‘s relatedness to Christology, while staying open to an enrichment of its own underlying Christology by the representations of prophecy in the Old Testament, in Rabbinic literature and in the Quran.


  • Prof. Dr. Klaus von Stosch

Research associate:

  • Dr. Cordula Heupts (Bonn)


  • Prof. Dr. Christian Blumenthal (Bonn)
  • Prof. Dr. Zishan Ghaffar (Paderborn)
  • Prof. Dr. Sidney Griffith (Washington DC)
  • Prof. Dr. Elisa Klapheck (Paderborn)
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Krochmalnik (Potsdam)
  • Prof. Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi (Teheran)
  • Prof. Dr. Azam Puyazadeh (Teheran)
  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Muna Tatari (Paderborn)
  • Prof. Dr. Fatima Tofighi (Qom)
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Zellentin, (Tübingen)

Duration of the project: 2020-2023

Supporting institution: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Muna Tatari/Klaus von Stosch: Prophetin – Jungfrau – Mutter. Maria im Koran, Freiburg i.Br. 2021.

Mary in the Quran
© Gingko Library
Wird geladen