Recommend to your Librarian

A History of Christian-Muslim Relations

Hugh Goddard


The relationship between the Christian and Muslim worlds has been a long and tortuous one. Over the course of the centuries the balance of power has swung in a pendulum motion - at times the initiative seems to have lain with the Muslim community, with the Christian world simply being compelled to react to developments outside itself, while at other points the opposite has been true and Muslims have found themselves having to respond to Christian challenges in different forms.

Today Christians and Muslims comprise the world's two largest religious communities. Although they can co-exist fairly peacefully, there are times when they still engage in violent confrontation, such as in the recent conflicts in Bosnia and the Sudan. This book investigates the history of the relationships between Christians and Muslims over the centuries, from their initial encounters in the Medieval period when the Muslims were the dominant group, through to the modern period when the balance of power seems to have been reversed.

This much-needed overview of the Christian-Muslim encounter places the emphasis on the context within which perceptions and attitudes were worked out and provides a depth of historical insight to the complexities of current Christian-Muslim interactions on different continents.

About the Author

Hugh Goddard is Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh.


… well-written, densely-packed, comprehensive documented and skilfully analysed book…The bibliographies, if supplemented by the footnotes, offer a generous range of sources to the reader. Students, in particular, will appreciate the clarity of the argument and the balanced selection by the author from every shade of opinion.
This book provides a very interesting study of a little-known subject. Its documentation is excellent and the author offers much food for thought not only to historians but to anybody involved in religious encounter at the present time.
The book is easy to read and satisfying in its thoroughnesss without the burden of excessive detail … The author presents a fair and balanced survey of history that is useful for both Muslim and Christian Readers. For anyone who desires to reach out to Muslims, this work is well worth the effort to read. It is accurate and relevant.

Also in this series