Islam and Christianity

Daniel A. Madigan and Diego R. Sarrio

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:
Islam and Christianity


Islam and Christianity have been related since the former emerged as what Muslims would see as a divinely initiated reform and restoration of perennial prophetic religion, particularly in its Abrahamic forms in Judaism, Christianity, and the rituals of the sanctuary of Mecca. The relationship has been theological and cultural as well as political. Despite a common tendency to read “Islam and Christianity” as signifying “Islam and the West,” a substantial part of the interaction has taken place in the central Islamic lands. The Qur’an itself engages in conversation, sometimes controversy, with the biblical and postbiblical tradition, and Islamic thought developed in a close relationship of both dialogue and polemic with the existing traditions of the Middle East, particularly Christianity. Grand narratives about the relationship have tended either to see a history permanently marked by conflict between two incompatible systems or to see Islam and Christianity as integral parts of the continuing, though nonetheless contentious, history of Western monotheism. In either case, both traditions have continued to construct their identities in relation to one another.

Article.  14233 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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