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‘Unique’ Cragg dies aged 99

16 November 2012

THE Rt Revd Kenneth Cragg, who died on Tuesday, aged 99, held "a unique position in the world of interfaith dialogue", the Archbishop of Canterbury said. He described how Bishop Cragg "constantly challenged Christian clichés about Islam, and could bring out of Islamic texts extraordinary riches for Christians to contemplate".

The President-Bishop in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Mouneer Anis, said that Bishop Cragg was "loved and respected" by Muslim scholars. He ministered for many years in the Middle East, chiefly in Beirut (1939-47), and later as an Assistant Bishop in the Jerusalem Archbishopric, based in Cairo (1970-73).

"He wrote and spoke about the major differences between Christianity and Islam, but the love that filled his heart towards Muslims embraced these differences. He also made a great contribution in revealing the common grounds between Islam and Christianity."

A former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, said: "Whilst 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."

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