Revd Canon Dr Delysia Timm

Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter


I would describe myself as a coloured or black, female Anglican Priest born and living in South Africa. I was the only person of colour in a South African tour group to Israel in September 2019. During the tour, I visited a friend living in Jerusalem who is a convert from Hinduism, to Christianity to Messianic Jew Israel and visited interesting sites and was unable to visit certain sites in the country due to our guide being Jewish. After my visit to Israel, I returned with many questions about the "Other" in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

I have friends and colleagues who are pro-BDS and some who are anti-BDS movement. The Anglican Communion of Southern Africa voted to support a BDS resolution at its Provincial Synod in September 2019. As a member of the Anglican Diocese of Natal, we will be deliberating this decision taken at Provincial level hopefully later in 2020.

I enrolled for the course Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter after being encouraged by a fellow, white, Anglican priest to join him in gaining a greater understanding of the Jewish-Muslim encounter. So, it did not take much convincing actually to enrol for the course. A huge thank you to Woolf Institute for the financial assistance.

The course was very engaging and well presented with many useful resources made available to me as a student. I appreciated the holistic approach towards understanding the Jewish-Muslim encounter. Highlights for me in the course were the gaining access to and understanding the Qu'ran and the Rabbinical texts, the historical, economical, cultural and gender perspectives of the Jewish-Muslim Encounter as well as engaging with the "Other" in society. I believe that I now have greater insight into my possible role and bridges that can be built towards contributing to more constructive Jewish-Muslim encounters as applicable within society at large and in our own Anglican Communion in Southern Africa in relation to the BDS resolution.

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