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

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Viking, 2004 - Religion - 182 pages
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Richard Fletcher is one of today’s most renowned medieval historians. In his latest book, he offers a brilliant survey of the relationship between the Islamic and Christian worlds from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries. He shows how, despite long periods of coexistence and overlap, religious misunderstanding between “the peoples of the book” has been present since their earliest encounters. He argues that though there were fruitful 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 actual religion of the other. Christians portrayed Muslims as bloodthirsty pagans and Muhammad as a false prophet while Islam viewed Christianity as a jumble of sects and conflicting stories.

Fletcher’s lucidity, scholarship, and gift for compression make this one of the most elegant and clear-sighted contributions to its subject for many years. It will appeal to readers of Karen Armstrong’s bestselling Islam: A Short Historyand to all readers looking for a better understanding of the Islamic world’s relationship to the West.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MikeFutcher - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

THE CROSS AND THE CRESCENT: Christianity and Islam from Muhammad to the Reformation

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A well-tempered survey of nearly a thousand years of Muslim-Christian interaction—most of it unhappy.Medievalist Fletcher (The Barbarian Conversion, 1998, etc.) apologizes at the outset for the ... Read full review

Contents

Ishmaels Children I
5
z An Elephant for Charlemagne
30
Crossing Frontiers
67
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Richard Fletcher recently retired from the University of York, where he was a professor of history.

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