The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton

Associate Professor, Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and Vice President for Planning, Assessment, and Administration

The Rev. Dr. David GraftonEmail:

Phone: 215.248.7313

Education: PhD, Islamic Studies, Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, University of Birmingham, UK, 2001; MDiv, Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary, 1993; BA, Capital University, 1989

David D. Grafton is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and Vice President for Planning, Assessment, and Administration of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Prior to his appointment at LTSP, he served as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Theological Seminary in Cairo, Director of the Center for Middle East Christianity at the ETSC, and adjunct lecturer in Islamic studies at the Dar Comboni Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Cairo, Egypt. He has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, University of Birmingham, England. Dr. Grafton’s academic interests focus on Christian-Muslim relationships in the Middle East, including 19th and 20th century Islamic social-political thought, 19th and 20th Protestant missionary thought on Islam, and the history of Middle East Christianity. He has provided courses, lectures and seminars on Islam, Middle East Religion and Society, and Christian-Muslim Relations around the world, including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan, England, and within the United States. He is the author of numerous articles on Christian-Muslim Relations in the Middle East, as well as The Christians of Lebanon: Political Rights in Islamic Law (I.B. Tauris, 2004), Piety, Politics and Power: Lutherans Encountering Islam in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, 2009), and Christian-Muslim Relations in the Lutheran and Anglican Communions (Palgrave, 2013). His forthcoming book, The contested origins of the 1865 Arabic Bible: Contributions to the nineteenth century Nahḍa (Brill, 2015), is the history of one of the most important modern Arabic Bible translations, which was an ecumenical and interfaith venture. Dr. Grafton is also, currently the North American Section Editor for the CMR1900 Project (Christian-Muslim Relations 1600-1900) from Brill.

Dr. Grafton is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has served Lutheran congregations in New Jersey, England, and an international inter-denominational congregation in Cairo, Egypt. He is married and has three children.

Courses taught at LTSP

  • HCH339 Luther, the Jews and the Turk (Fall 2014)
  • IPP Pastor as Theologian (Fall 2014)
  • HCH235 Christians at the Edge of Empire: the histories and identities of the non-Chalcedonian Churches
  • HCH336 Christian-Muslim Engagement in North America (Spring 2016)
  • BBT570 Looking for Zion: American Christian Piety, Politics and the Middle East
  • HCH860G Postcolonialism and the Church
  • HTH373 Jesus and the Bible in Islam (Spring 2015)
  • SDM675G Children of Abraham: Explorations in Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations (Fall 2015)
  • HTH676G The History of Theological Issues in Christian-Muslim Relations (Distance Education)(Spring 2016)

Adult Learning Courses offered

  • Americans, the Bible and the Middle East (five week series)
  • A Middle Eastern Reading of the Gospel of Luke (five week series)
  • American Islam
  • Discontent in the Middle East (the Arab Spring)
  • Christian-Muslim Relations in America
  • The Changing Religious Landscape in 21st Century America

Resources on Islam and Muslims in America for Congregations (2015)

Discerning the News in the Middle East

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