Christians & Muslims: Recommended Resources
Because the topic of Christian-Muslim relations is so broad, this issue will likely raise as many questions as it answers. Here are some suggestions for further exploration.
Scholar Bernard Lewis deserves the distinction, noted in the New York Times Book Review, as “the doyen of Middle Eastern studies.” He writes critically but fairly of Islam, avoiding the unfounded optimism of authors such as John Esposito, Karen Armstrong, and Jane Smith and of media packages such as PBS’s Islam: Empire of Faith. Lewis’s recent articles in The Atlantic Monthly (see www.theatlantic.com) introduce his main ideas, which receive fuller treatment in his most popular non-specialist titles: Islam and the West (1994), The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (1995), and What Went Wrong: Western Impact and the Middle Eastern Response (2001).
Though an able guide, Lewis does not address Islam from a Christian perspective. Useful, general—audience resources that do represent this perspective include James A. Beverley’s Understanding Islam, from the Nelson Quick Guide to Religions series (2001); George W. Braswell, Jr.’s Islam: Its Prophet, Peoples, Politics and Power, from Broadman & Holman (1996); Ravi Zacharias’s Light in the Shadow of Jihad, from Multnomah (2002); and The World of Islam CD—ROM, from Global Mapping International (2001; see www.gmi.org).
Lastly, for a fantastic collection of primary source documents, scholarly works, and other links, see www.debate.org.uk/
By the Editors
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #74 in 2002]
Christians & Muslims: From the Editor — The Cover’s Story
A picture of Hagia Sophia, heavy with Christian and Islamic symbolism, speaks of centuries of ambition, sorrow, and bad faith.Elesha Coffman
The Pact of Umar
Islamic protection came with a price.Chris Armstrong
Issues & G.K.’s Answers
He read his times and wrote about times to come.Dale Ahlquist
The Mystery Deepens
With Father Brown, the sleuth who plumbed hearts, Chesterton redefined the whodunit.John Peterson