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The Cross and the Crescent: Christianity and Islam from Muhammad to the…

by Richard Fletcher

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221296,949 (3.22)2
A short account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. The author argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between the two during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the religion of the other. Christian and Moslem lived side by side in a state of mutual religious aversion. Given these circumstances, if religious passions were to be stirred up, confrontation would probably be violent. Fletcher shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between the peoples of the book has been present since their earliest encounters.… (more)
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An unsatisfying short history of the interaction between Christianity and Islam from the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D. to the late 1400s. Considering this involved almost ceaseless conquest, crusade and oppression between two intolerant ideologies, Fletcher's book is disappointingly bloodless. He is at pains to adopt an academically neutral approach, which serves to be euphemistic when discussing the religious turmoil and also manages to lack any sort of heavyweight punch when it comes to passing historical judgement. Fletcher also abstains from any sort of anecdotal colour or drama or even acknowledgement of friction (I certainly feel the hand of the publisher's marketing department in the book's subtitle). Whilst a legitimate academic overview offering up avenues for further study, the book only identifies the 'what' of history, not the 'how' or the 'why'. It provides little for those seeking to understand the clash between these two civilizations, which sadly continues to influence the course of our world into the twenty-first century. ( )
1 vote MikeFutcher | Jun 10, 2017 |
The book gives a broad sweep across the subject of Christian-Muslim relations from Mohammad to about 1500. I do not mind that the book takes a superficial look at the subject, considering it's compact size. However, the author presents a lot of conclusions, makes a quick citation as to where this conclusion was reached from, then moves on. It gets rather annoying when he doesn't explain how a certain conclusion was reached, if it is by academic consensus, or anything else that can lend credibility to the claim. It's hard to take much of this book seriously. I do not know this author, and I find it hard to accept the conclusions reached in this book without a little more explanation.

However, the book does give a good introduction into the topic. I would like to read more into this history, but from a source with more depth. ( )
1 vote blackjack000 | May 5, 2008 |
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A short account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. The author argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between the two during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the religion of the other. Christian and Moslem lived side by side in a state of mutual religious aversion. Given these circumstances, if religious passions were to be stirred up, confrontation would probably be violent. Fletcher shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between the peoples of the book has been present since their earliest encounters.

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