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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Faith and Sword

A Short History of Christian-Muslim Conflict

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Faith and Sword

A Short History of Christian-Muslim Conflict

In today’s tense geopolitical climate, terrorist groups avow their allegiance to the Islamic faith in their edicts, while the president of the United States undertakes controversial wars in Islamic nations and openly refers to his Christian faith as a key component of his decision-making. With the recent surge in terrorist acts and military confrontations, as well as ever-strengthening fundamentalist ideologies on both sides, the Christian-Muslim divide is perhaps more visible than ever—but it is not new. Alan G. Jamieson explores here the long and bloody history of the Christian-Muslim conflict, revealing in his concise yet comprehensive study how deeply this ancient divide is interwoven with crucial events in world history. 

Faith and Sword opens with the tumultuous first centuries of the conflict, examining the religious precepts that framed clashes between Christians and Muslims and that ultimately fueled the legendary Crusades. Traversing the full breadth of the Arab lands and Christendom, Jamieson chronicles the turbulent saga from the Arab conquests of the seventh century to the rise of the powerful Ottoman Empire and its fall at the end of World War I. Faith and Sword then explores the complex dynamics that emerged later in the twentieth century, as Christendom was transformed into the secular West and Islamic nations overthrew European colonialism to establish governments straddling modernity and religiosity.

From the 1979 Iranian revolution to the Lebanon hostage crisis to the present-day war in Iraq, Faith and Sword reveals the essence of this enduring struggle and its consequences.

256 pages | 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 9 | © 2006


History: Middle Eastern History, Military History

Religion: Christianity, Comparative Studies and History of Religion, Islam

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"Sedulous, unapologetic presentation of fact. . . a challenge to Islamic resisters that Muhammad never be criticized. . . . Opens our eyes to an inescapable truth: Christians and Muslims fought wars for more than 1,000 years, with each at times conquering the other’s territory by force."

Carlin Romano | Philadelphia Inquirer

"Essential. . . . Raises important questions."

James Srodes | Washington Times

"He correctly notes that due to the secular reforms of the West, the confrontation changes from one of religion to one pitting imperialism against nationalism."

Thabit A. J. Abdullah | Literary Review of Canada

Table of Contents

List of Maps
1.  Introduction: The Longest War
2.  The Arab Conquests, 632-750
3.  Byzantine Defiance, 750-1000
4.  Rise of the West: Christian Advances in the Eleventh Century
5.  Muslim Reaction:  Victory over Outremer, Defeat in Spain, 1100-1300
6.  Rise of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1500
7.  Ottoman Challenge:  The Sixteenth Century
8.  Ottoman Revival and Decline, 1600-1815
9.  Triumph of the West, 1815-1918
10.  Breaking Free, 1918-1979
11.  Challenging American, 1879-2005
12.  Conclusion:  A New Conflict?
Glossary of Place Name Changes

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