Analysis of The Cross and the Crescent
Richard Fletcher has written The Cross and the Crescent an entertaining book that illustrates the early relationship between the Christians and Muslims. It helped me to understand the historical differences between the religions and to understand the reason for continued conflict, misunderstanding, and general uneasiness between the two groups. I will highlight some key historical events presented in the book and draw conclusions to almost modern day relations between the two religions. Additionally I will give an overall analysis of the book.
The Muslims have many critiques of the Christians and many of them are good points, while some are a bit of a stretch and even somewhat hypocritical. The main invalidation that Islam points out is the belief in the trinity while Christians still maintain that they are monotheistic. Additionally the dual nature of Christ is brought into light, because the Muslims believe their most important person to be Muhammad, merely an un-divine message receiver to god, they criticize the idea that Christ was both human and divine. The multiplicity of textual accounts, in the eyes of Islam, refutes the legitimacy of the accounts. However when they attempt to criticize the differing sects of Christianity they have no basis for argument as they themselves have had a similar split of beliefs between the Sunnis and Shi’ites. However I do think it prudent that the Muslims integrated societal law to be religious law because in emphasizes the necessity for there to be a non-secular set up to ingrain religious practice. The fact of the matter is that Muslims and Christians were in undesirable contact because of Muslims migrating into the empire or Christians and jews fleeing persecution, setting up churches, and developing a distinct arab Christian culture.
Christians too had discrepance’s with the Muslims because the bible explained that Ishmael would a wild person against the will of everyone, and everyone against him. Simply that passage from Genesis 16 explained their violent bloodthirsty behavior and forever labeled them outsiders as claimed by the word of god. Additionally the ethnicity of the Muslims, who claimed to be both descendent of both Hagar and Sarah, made them apparent unequals and enemies of the human race as a whole. However the Roman empire had use for such a people to be on the outskirts and protect the borders, a practical use that kept them somewhat removed from the majority of the Christian loyal’s, as Christianity was then the primary religion of the empire in Constantinople.
One of the major issues that I think could have been more thoroughly addressed in this book was the common Christians’ view of the world of Islam. It is easy to see that the church as an institution was upset with the Muslims conquering the Mediterranean and enticing the people of Christianity to convert to Islam. What then was the commoners view on both sides, it...