Gratitude: Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Over three international workshops were funded by the Issachar Fund, where leading scholars examined the concept of gratitude from Christian and Muslim theological and philosophical perspectives.

Issachar Fund logo

Respective workshops focused on the role of gratitude in the divine-human covenant, interpersonal relationships and the public sphere.

Both Islamic and Christian traditions emphasise the importance of divine gift-giving and gratitude (Ar. shukr) as the appropriate human response. Theological literature, however, has tended to focus on the divine action rather than the human response. As a result, relatively little has been written about the theology of gratitude and its role in the religious life.


The three workshops explored major themes and approaches in Islamic and Christian theologies and philosophies of gratitude. They brought together scholarly perspectives from Islamic and Christian traditions and provided a forum for discussion and mutual learning. These covered three interdisciplinary areas of research:

Gratitude: Hope or Burden?

University of Edinburgh, 10-11 December 2018

This workshop welcomed postgraduate papers exploring significant themes and approaches in Islamic and Christian theologies of gratitude. It focused on examining the role of gratitude in the divine-human covenant; whether gratitude is a virtue; whether there is an obligation to be grateful to God; the role of gratitude in the religious life.

Gratitude: Love, Power and  Indebtedness  

Yale University, 28-30August 2019

This workshop was on gratitude a virtue and a tool, gratitude in society, education, economics, human relationships and more.

Gratitude: Inclusion or Privilege?

British University in Dubai, 12-14 January 2020

This workshop examined the role of gratitude in the public sphere; gratitude and civic engagement; gratitude, immigration and belonging; gratitude, globalization and the environment.


The papers from the workshops were featured in an edited volume published in 2020-2021.

In partnership with the Christian Muslim Forum and Near Neighbours, the project held an event, ‘Gratitude in Community Work’, at Bradford Cathedral, 5 December 2019. The event was hosted by Bishop Toby Howarth and Mona Siddiqui, and featured presentations from Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque and Kaneez Khan of Wellsprings Together. Two grassroots organisations, Touchstone and BIASAN, were recognised with the Issachar Fund Community Prize.

See: Gratitude and faith shared

In collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art, the project also administered the Issachar Fund Art Prize, which was awarded to artist Soniya Ahmed for two paintings exploring the theme of gratitude.

See: Issachar Fund Art Prize news release

The University of Edinburgh launched a podcast, Living Gratefully, in which well-known guests discuss gratitude, relationships and public discourse with Mona Siddiqui.

See: Living Gratefully podcast

Further information

For further information, contact Mona Siddiqui and Nathanael Vette