Terrorism is the threat of the age, or so we are told, and inevitably associated with it is the word ‘Islam’. The notion of the ‘Muslim terrorist’ has become a colloquialism in Western media. Interestingly, in all the history books about the Second World War, the phrase ‘Christian fascist’ is rarely seen in spite of the fact that skewed Christian theologies were used liberally by the Nazis to further their hatred. This points to a blind spot in Western understanding about the ways in which religious (and non-religious) ideology can be mutilated to serve hateful ends. We think we see it in Islam but we can’t see it in ourselves. This book is dedicated to uncovering the many understandings of Islam we lack and the many misunderstandings we need to overcome.
‘Since 9/11 there has been much confusion and animosity towards the Islamic world. With few exceptions, even the scholarly world has not tried to understand the complexity of Islam and its close relation to Christianity and Judaism. On the other hand, it is quite disturbing to see the carnage perpetuated by some Muslims who least understand Islam.
This book will be an asset to students and scholars trying to understand the essence of Islam and its true nature.’
Abul Farooque, Adjunct Senior Lecturer
School of Education, Flinders University of South Australia
‘This is an important book in many ways. It takes aim at the prevalent ignorance of Islam in the West and offers a distillation of years of scholarship in an attempt to encourage “enhanced literacy about Islam”, to remedy the “poor understanding of Islam by the West” by portraying Islam as “part of the Western story”. The authors point out that there is as much ignorance about the origins and significance of Islam among Muslims as among Christians, making the case that such ignorance is dangerous in the present situation but can be overcome if Christians learn to understand “the essence of its [Islam’s] theology” and the ancient roots of the relationships between Arabs, Jews and Christians.’
John D’Arcy May, Dr Theol (Münster), Dr Phil (Frankfurt), FTCD, Adjunct Professor, Trinity College Dublin, Australian Catholic University, Monash University, University of Divinity (Melbourne)
Robert Crotty has studied History, Christian Theology, Biblical Studies and Education in Australia, Rome and Jerusalem. He has been a tutor in History and Classics at Melbourne University and lecturer and Professor in History and Religion Studies at the University of South Australia and its predecessors.
Terence Lovat has degrees in Theology, Anthropology and Education. He has taught and researched in these areas for the past thirty years. One of his main research areas concerns Islam and its relations with Christianity and Judaism. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at The University of Newcastle and holds an honorary post at Oxford University.