The Aligarh Muslim University, a Muslim university in Aligarh, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, has awarded German Jesuit theologian Fr. Christian W. Troll the “Sir Syed Excellence Award”, a prestigious award given for his excellent work in the field of Islamic studies and Muslim-Christian relations, Fides News Agency reports September 13, 2018.
Prof. Abdul Kidwai, Head of the Department of Koranic Studies at Aligarh Muslim University, announced that the award will be given on October 17, 2018, during a special celebration organized at Aligarh Muslim University.
Contacted by Agenzia Fides, Father Troll wrote: “I am really very honored to receive this prestigious award”. Fr. Troll in his research on the different traditions of Muslims in South Asia tried to understand “the burning issues that so many religious leaders have faced in the last 200 years”, he said.
On the figure of Sir Syed, a 19th-century Muslim Indian philosopher, he affirms: “His figure inspired me, he was a great leader of his people and he did so much to promote human respect, deep understanding, and solidarity beyond the strict limits of the confessional lines”.
Troll, currently a professor emeritus at the Jesuit School of Theology in Frankfurt, studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he received his doctorate. From 1976 to 1988 he was a professor of Islamic studies at the Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies in Delhi. From 1993 to 1999 he was also a lecturer at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and professor at the Theology Faculty of the University of Ankara. In 1999 he was director of the Forum of Christian-Muslim Relations at the “Katholische Akademie” in Berlin. From 2001 onwards he taught Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations at the St. Georgen Faculty of Theology in Frankfurt. From 1990 to 2005 he was a member of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims, in the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Vatican.
He has published four books in the series “Islam in India: Studies and Commentaries” and has contributed to many collective volumes on the dialogue between Christians and Muslims, with different essays on Islam in India.