My paper “The End of Jesus’ Life on Earth in the Qur’an” has been published in the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies. It is open access, so you can read it on the Journal website here.
This is the abstract:
Muslim scholars have always accepted that Jesus escaped the attempt to crucify him, was raised to heaven, continues to live there, and will return at the end of time. The Qur’an is usually cited as the source of the first two beliefs, whereas the latter two have their main support in Ḥadīth, although both sources are also cited in support of all of these views. This paper focuses on what the Qur’an says about Jesus’ fate after the failed attempt to crucify him. It reviews the majority view before discussing how it started to be questioned in the late-nineteenth century by scholars who offered alternatives. The article then focuses on the terms tawaffī and rafʿ, which the Qur’an uses in describing God’s intervention to save Jesus. Our analysis confirms the centuries-long understanding of the Qur’anic text that Jesus was raised alive to heaven. But it disagrees with the traditional view that he is still alive, finding instead support for the alternative view of the minority of modern scholars that Jesus did not live a supernaturally long life, hence he is dead. The relevant Qur’anic verses indicate that Jesus was raised alive to heaven and died there.