A History of Christian-Muslim Relations

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9781566633406: A History of Christian-Muslim Relations

The relationship between the Christian and Muslim worlds has been a long and tortuous one. Over the course of the centuries the balance of power has swung in pendulum fashion―at times the initiative seems to have lain with the Muslim community, with the Christian world simply being compelled to react to developments outside itself, while at other points the opposite has been true and Muslims have found themselves having to respond to Christian challenges in different forms. Today Christians and Muslims comprise the world's two largest religious communities. Although they can coexist fairly peacefully, at times they still engage in violent confrontation, such as in the recent conflicts in Bosnia and the Sudan. This book investigates the history of the relationships between Christians and Muslims over the centuries, from their initial encounters in the medieval period, when the Muslims were the dominant group, through to the modern period, when the balance of power seems to have been reversed. This much-needed overview of the Christian-Muslim encounter places the emphasis on the context within which perceptions and attitudes were worked out and provides a depth of historical insight to the complexities of current Christian-Muslim interactions on different continents.

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About the Author:

Hugh Goddard is reader in Islamic theology at the University of Nottingham and author of Christians and Muslims: From Double Standards to Mutual Understanding and Muslim Perceptions of Christianity.

Review:

Appropriately designed to give an introductory overview of the encounter of Christianity and Islam...He approaches the subject as a historian of religion with sensitivity to the civilizational character of the Christian-Muslim encounter―i.e. an encounter in which 'religious' aspects must be set in a wider discussion of social, economic, political, and religious factors. (David Kerr, University of Edinburgh)

This overview...for general readers succeeds admirably. ... Goddard's book is an excellent introduction to Christian-Muslim relations. (Thomas Burman Journal of Religion)

Excellent summaries of contemporary interreligious dialogue and of thinkers from both religions who have demonstrated an interest in the other. (Gregory J. Miller Religious Studies Review)

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