Cross And The Crescent: Christianity And Islam From Muhammad To The Reformation

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9780141012070: Cross And The Crescent: Christianity And Islam From Muhammad To The Reformation

A short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity 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." He shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between "the peoples of the book" has been present since their earliest encounters.

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Richard Fletcher reminds his readers that the scope of his book is limited, even though the story he is telling is not. An adept historian who writes with clarity and expertise, Fletcher sets for himself the nearly impossible task of relating the complex interrelations between the Islamic and Christian worlds from the 7th to the 16th centuries, focusing on the Mediterranean, but touching upon Northern Europe, Asia Minor, and even on the vast reach of the Mongol Empire. Fletcher describes the establishment of Islam in the 7th century and the subsequent rise of the Abbasid Empire a century later and describes the shift from an Islamic society defined by Arab ethnicity to a ruling power defined by religion and culture. Initially, Fletcher explains, Christians were tolerated (but disdained) in the fast-expanding Islamic world primarily because they provided a link to the ancient Greek and Roman learning their conquerors coveted. However, in less-receptive regions, such as North Africa, Church leaders fled to Sicily and southern France, weakening a Christian presence in those areas.

While Fletcher provides many examples of interaction between the two worlds--including diplomacy, pilgrimage, trade, and most obviously, war (the Crusades)--he maintains that these contacts were never solidified by an earnest attempt on the part of these diverse cultures to "blend." In the best of times there was coexistence. In the worst, there was outright persecution. The reversal of Islamic supremacy took many centuries. Fletcher cannot explain the complex reasons for this in great detail. However, he does provide some provocative insight. The Islamic world flourished when it was most open to ancient thought. Similarly, the groundwork for European hegemony was laid when 13th-century Christian thinkers began to absorb and expand on Islamic learning. By contrast, the Islamic world withdrew "from intellectual recepitivity" at the height of its power. There is a lesson to be learned here. The exchange and integration of ideas can be mightier than the sword. --Silvana Tropea

About the Author:

Richard Fletcher is one of Britain's most distinguished medieval historians, and for many years taught at the University of York. His previous books include THE QUEST FOR EL CID, which won the Wolfson Award and the Los Angeles Times History Prize; THE CONVERSION OF EUROPE; and BLOODFEUD.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity 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. He shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between the peoples of the book has been present since their earliest encounters. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141012070

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity 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. He shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between the peoples of the book has been present since their earliest encounters. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141012070

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Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. Presents an account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. This book argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the religion of the other. Num Pages: 208 pages, maps. BIC Classification: HRAC; HRAX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 13. Weight in Grams: 160. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141012070

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Book Description Penguin, 2004. Book Condition: New. Presents an account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. This book argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the religion of the other. Num Pages: 208 pages, maps. BIC Classification: HRAC; HRAX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 13. Weight in Grams: 160. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141012070

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Cross and the Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters Between Christians and Muslims, Richard Fletcher, This is a short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity 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'. He shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between 'the people of the book' has been present since their earliest encounters. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141012070

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; A short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side w. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141012070_rkm

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