Chapter

The Next Crusade

Philip Jenkins

in The Next Christendom

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146165
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195146166.003.0008
 The Next Crusade

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This chapter looks at how the international politics of the coming decades are likely to revolve around interfaith conflict, above all, the clash between Christianity and Islam. Across the regions that will be the most populous in the twenty-first century there are already vast religious conflicts and contests in progress, although they impinge very little on Western opinion makers and the parochialism of Western public opinion is striking. Demographic projections suggest that these religious feuds will not only continue but become worse, although it is pointed out that, for various reasons, it is very difficult to obtain and project accurate numbers of the people belonging to different religions in any particular country. Nevertheless, of the world’s twenty-five largest nations, by the mid-twentieth-first century, if the current religious balance continues, nine are likely to be wholly or predominantly Muslim, eight wholly or predominantly Christian and three deeply divided between the two; it is suggested that by 2050 there could be ten of the largest nations profoundly divided between these two religions and, therefore, subject to instability as a result of inter-religious violence. The last part of the chapter considers some of the main fronts of religious conflicts, with discussion of Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Asia (as represented by Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines) and Europe, the cycles of violence in Christian–Muslim conflicts, the place of Judaism in Christian–Muslim relations, conflicts between Hinduism and Buddhism, and various possible future scenarios based on religious conflict in different countries.

Keywords: Buddhism; Christianity; Christian\endash Muslim conflicts; cycles of violence; demographic projections; Egypt; Europe; Hindu\endash Buddhist conflict; Hinduism; Indonesia; instability; Islam; Judaism; Nigeria; Pakistan; Philippines; religious conflict; Sudan

Chapter.  12098 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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