By Jane I. Smith
The assaults of September eleven, 2001 immediately heightened the yank public's sensitivity towards issues of spiritual distinction. Many american citizens discovered not just that non-Muslims have to study extra approximately Islam, but additionally that Muslims needs to greater comprehend and articulate their very own religion to themselves and others. during this quantity, Jane Idleman Smith examines the present American Christian-Muslim discussion, contextualized either throughout the historical past of Islam and of the modern West. As we procedure the 6th anniversary of Sept. 11, Smith dares to invite what development has been made via this discussion, what occurs whilst that discussion fails, and what path it is going to absorb the years yet to come. Smith examines the hot theological writings of either Catholics and Protestants approximately discussion and pluralism, and indicates that considering the fact that 11th of September a number of Muslim students within the West have additionally started to jot down approximately those concerns. Now, she argues, many Christians and Muslims are expressing their wish to circulate past theological dialogue into what's known as the "dialogue of engagement." As proof, she issues to projects between youngsters, girls, and African american citizens as they try and locate how one can interact in neighborhood tasks of justice and neighborhood provider. in the course of the e-book, one hears the private voices of those Muslim and Christian individuals within the American interfaith discussion. whereas some of the encounters among Islam and Christianity during the last 14 centuries were peaceable, american citizens understand little in regards to the background of spiritual interplay past the Crusades or the phobia Europe felt within the face of the invasions of the Turks. This quantity is meant to teach american citizens in regards to the nice range of Muslims during this state whereas illustrating how Christians and Muslims are coming jointly, not just to speak to one another, yet to interact for the typical solid.
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Extra resources for Muslims, Christians, and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue
It is sometimes amusing for Muslims to observe, more or less correctly, that the actual number of their rank who have adopted Christianity as a result of missionary endeavors has been negligible. Nonetheless, the information gained by missionaries who have worked in Muslim cultures has gone far toward providing a much more accurate understanding of Islam for those who live in the West. The Twentieth Century and Beyond Among the harshest realities affecting Christian-Muslim relationships over the past century has been Western imperialism, with which missionary activity often has been associated.
The dhimmi status was preferable to Byzantine oppression. Christians remained the majority in much of what was nominally Muslim territory for a number of centuries after the Crusades. Muslim military expeditions were political in nature, and generally not undertaken for the purpose of forcing conversion to Islam as an alternative to the sword. This fact may be difﬁcult for contemporary Christians to understand, and asking Muslims to explain the concept of jihad, which often is portrayed in the media to mean conversion by the sword or some other military means, is one of the questions generally high on their agenda for dialogue.
Art, poetry, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and many other disciplines reached new levels of glory and achievement. The Islamic atmosphere in which they developed encouraged an understanding that these arts and sciences were interrelated, as all were related to the oneness and being of God. In the eighteenth century the three great empires of the world—the Moghul, the Persian, and the Ottoman—were all Islamic. But the great days were waning, and both politically and culturally Muslims found themselves falling behind to scientiﬁc and other achievements of the West.