The Cross and the Crescent

The Cross and the Crescent : The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters Between Christians and Muslims

3.52 (163 ratings by Goodreads)

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The Cross and the Crescent is a brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from the time of Muhammad to the Reformation, by Englands leading mediaeval historian. Richard Fletcher shows how, despite long periods of co-existence and overlap, religious misunderstanding between the peoples of the book has been present since their earliest encounters. He argues that though there were fruitful trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the actual religion of the other. Christians portrayed Moslems as bloodthirsty pagans and Muhammad as a false prophet, while Islam viewed Christianity as a jumble of sects and conflicting stories. In Fletchers words: Christian and Moslem lived side by side in a state of mutual religious aversion. Given these circumstances, if religious passions were to be stirred up, confrontation would probably be violent.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 183 pages
  • 119.4 x 195.6 x 17.8mm | 136.08g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143034812
  • 9780143034810
  • 1,392,777

About Professor of History Richard Fletcher

Richard Fletcher is the author of seven books, including The Quest for El Cid, winner of the Wolfson Award and the Los Angeles Times History Prize. Recently retired from the University of York, where he was a professor of history, he lives in England.
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Review quote

A dazzling sprint past the turf wars of Rome and Constantinople, Sunnis and Shi?ites... Genghis Khan and Prester John. (John Leonard, "Harper's Magazine")
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Table of contents

List of Maps
1. Ishmael's Children 1
2. An Elephant for Charlemagne 30
3. Crossing Frontiers 67
4. Commerce, Coexistence and Scholarship 100
5. Sieving the Koran 131
6. Epilogue 157
Chronology 162
Further Reading 166
Notes 170
Index 175
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Rating details

163 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 18% (30)
4 31% (51)
3 36% (58)
2 14% (23)
1 1% (1)
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