By Matters India Reporter
Aligarh: October 21, 2018: The Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India has conferred upon Jesuit Father Christian W Troll, the Sir Syed Excellence Award in recognition of his excellent work on Sir Syed studies.
Prof. Abdul Kidwai, the head of the Department of Quranic Studies at the Aligarh Muslim University, announced the decision of the jury to confer this coveted award on Father Troll.
Another Jesuit priest, Father Victor Edwin, present director of Vidyajyoti Center for Christian-Muslim Relations, received the honor for Father Troll who was not able to travel to India due to health reasons.
The award was presented on October 17 at a special function organized at the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. The award comprised a citation and a cash prize of 200,000 rupees.
Responding to the award Father Troll wrote: “I feel greatly honored indeed to receive this prestigious prize”.
Father Troll, with his familiarity with the diverse great traditions of the Muslims of South Asia, has tried to understand “the burning issues which so many outstanding Indian Muslim leaders and religious thinkers have wrestled with during the last 200 years.”
Father Troll further said: “The figure of Sir Syed has inspired me as an admirable fellow believer in the One God, a great leader of his people and, not least, as someone who did so much to promote human respect, deep understanding and solidarity beyond the narrow limits of confessional lines.”
Father Troll, presently a professor Emeritus at the Jesuit School of Theology at Frankfurt, studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he obtained his doctorate in 1975.
From 1976 until 1988 he was professor of Islamic Studies at the Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies in Delhi. From 1988 until 1993 he was Senior Lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian Muslim Relations in Birmingham, and since 1976 he has been lecturing at a number of academic institutions in Europe and Asia.
From 1993 to 1999 Father Troll has been Professor of Islamic Institutions at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and a regular Guest professor at the Faculty of Theology of Ankara University.
In 1999 he moved to Berlin, where he has been until 2001 the director of the Forum of Christian-Muslim Relations at the Katholische Akademie. From 2001 onward he has been teaching Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations as Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Theology, St. Georgen, Frankfurt am Main.
From 1990 to 2005 he has been a member of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims, which is part of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Vatican and from 1999 to 2011 member of the Sub-Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of the German Bishops Conference.
When in Birmingham Father Troll founded the periodical Islam and Christian—Muslim Relations.
Among his books is Sayyid Ahmad Khan, a reinterpretation of Muslim Theology (Delhi, 1978, Karachi, 1979. Urdu edition: Lahore 1998). He has edited four books in the series Islam in India: Studies and Commentaries (Delhi 1982-89).
Recently he contributed to collective volumes a number of substantial studies on Christian-Muslim dialogue in the context of conflicting truth claims as well as on the change in Catholic teaching and thinking on Islam and on Christian-Muslim Relations since the middle of the 20th century.
The volume ‘Aspects of Religious Thought in Modern Muslim India’ (Lahore, 2015.Pp.886) assembles most of his essays concerning Islam in India.
On Sir Syed Day celebration on October 17 at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, the chief guest was Dr. S.Y. Quraishi the former Election Commissioner, India.