After focusing early in his life on topics in analytic philosophy and religion, David Burrell, C.S.C., turned to studying comparative issues in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He is the author of Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas (University of Notre Dame Press, 1986) and Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions (Notre Dame, 1993). He has also authored two translations of the works of the great medieval Islamic theologian Abu Muhammad al-Ghazali: Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God (Islamic Texts Society, 1993) and Al-Ghazali on Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence (Fons Vitae, 2001).
A priest in the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Burrell is a professor at Notre Dame and has directed the university’s Jerusalem program, housed at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. We talked to him about current characterizations of Islam and about his own interfaith experiences.