American Christians and Islam: Evangelical Culture and Muslims from the Colonial Period to the Age of Terrorism

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Princeton University Press, 2009 - History - 201 pages
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In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, many of America's Christian evangelicals have denounced Islam as a "demonic" and inherently violent religion, provoking frustration among other Christian conservatives who wish to present a more appealing message to the world's Muslims. Yet as Thomas Kidd reveals in this sobering book, the conflicted views expressed by today's evangelicals have deep roots in American history.


Tracing Islam's role in the popular imagination of American Christians from the colonial period to today, Kidd demonstrates that Protestant evangelicals have viewed Islam as a global threat--while also actively seeking to convert Muslims to the Christian faith--since the nation's founding. He shows how accounts of "Mahometan" despotism and lurid stories of European enslavement by Barbary pirates fueled early evangelicals' fears concerning Islam, and describes the growing conservatism of American missions to Muslim lands up through the post-World War II era. Kidd exposes American Christians' anxieties about an internal Islamic threat from groups like the Nation of Islam in the 1960s and America's immigrant Muslim population today, and he demonstrates why Islam has become central to evangelical "end-times" narratives. Pointing to many evangelicals' unwillingness to acknowledge Islam's theological commonalities with Christianity and their continued portrayal of Islam as an "evil" and false religion, Kidd explains why Christians themselves are ironically to blame for the failure of evangelism in the Muslim world.



American Christians and Islam is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the causes of the mounting tensions between Christians and Muslims today.


 

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Evangelizing Muslims In "American Christians and Islam," Thomas S. Kidd presents a scholarly historical survey of Christian proselytizing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book is roughly ... Read full review

Contents

The Barbary Wars the Last Days and Islam
19
Foreign Missions to Muslims
37
Samuel Zwemer World War I
58
The New Missionary Overture to Muslims
75
Christians Respond to Muslims
96
Maturing Evangelical Missions and War in
120
American Christians and Islam After
144
Epilogue
165
Notes
171
Index
195
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Thomas S. Kidd is Professor of History at Baylor University and Senior Fellow at Baylor s Institute for Studies of Religion.

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