THE CONVERSION NARRATIVE OF SAMIRA: FROM SHI’A ISLAM TO MARY, HER CHURCH, AND HER SON

Samira tells of her encounter with the Virgin Mary as a young girl that would eventually help lead to her conversion to Anglican Christianity.

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Miller, Duane Alexander. ‘THE CONVERSION NARRATIVE OF SAMIRA: FROM SHI’A ISLAM TO MARY, HER CHURCH, AND HER SON’ in St Francis Magazine Vol 5:5, October 2009, pp 81-92.

Download it here. Following is an excerpt from the interview portion of the article (pp 82, 3):

DAM: What was your first exposure to Christianity or Jesus or the Bible or any of those things?

Samira: Well, my first exposure was when I was six and had avision of the Virgin Mary. And at the time I didn’t know who Mary was or who Jesus was or who Muslims were—I didn’tknow anything about anything. I was in a mountain place; itwas dark, I fell and I couldn’t get up. And there was this huge rock; this lady came from behind the rock: she was all in white, and she held my hand and picked me up and said that she was Mary. And when she held my hand something stayed with me and I just loved her and I asked my mother who she was, and she said she was the mother of Prophet Jesus, as Muslims knew her. And I just knew since then that I wanted to be where she was, which was the church. And then when I was nine I learned about St Bernadette; there was a movie called The Song of Bernadette and that is when I received my calling into ministrybecause I knew that my life belonged to the church. Andthat was the place to go to [inaudible]. And the interesting [thing] about that is I didn’t know anything about Jesus and—or the Bible. It was all the love of the church through the Virgin Mary.

Author: duanemiller

I was born in Montana and grew up in Colorado and Puebla (in Mexico). I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and then an MA in theology at St Mary's University (also in San Antonio). Later life took me to Jordan where my wife and I studied Arabic, to Israel where I helped found a seminary, and to Scotland for doctoral work, among other places. I'm highly interested in the interactions of Islam, Christianity and secularism in modern contexts. My main areas of research for my PhD in divinity were religious conversion from Islam to Christianity, contextual theology, and the shari'a's treatment of apostates. I've also published research on global Anglicanism and the history of Anglican mission in the Ottoman Empire. I've had the pleasure of teaching in many places over the years: from Costa Rica to Turkey, and Kenya to Tunisia. I am at-large lecturer and researcher in Muslim-Christian relations at The Christian Institute of Islamic Studies (www.tciis.org), and deacon at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Madrid, Spain. Visit my blog (duanemiller.wordpress.com) or academia.edu page for more information or to have me speak at your church, university or seminary.

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