Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery by Ber

The relations of Christians, Jews, and Muslims around the Mediterranean were tumultuous for centuries, and still have consequences (in the Balkans, for instance) that we need to understand if we are to cope with politics and conflict today.In the book Cultures in Conflict.Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery by Bernard Lewis, those relations are examined to reveal the relative position of each and the eventual decline of one to give rise to another.Lewisfirst examines the way Christians and Muslims looked at one another.Despite their mutual hostility, they understood each other’s views rather well.Medieval Christians largely dismissed Muslim theology as post-Gospel heresy; but the Muslims themselves were regarded as serious social and military challengers.By contrast, a still primitive Christendom looked to sophisticated Muslims “rather as Central Asia or Africa appeared to Victorian Englishmen? (pp. 13).However, despite their knowledge of one another (or perhaps because of it), the Christian world was imbedded in a deep conflict with the Islamic and Jewish worlds.
The Christian conflict with the Islamic world was, according to Lewis, the result of a rivalry based on three motives: faith, greed, and fear.From thefirst invasion of Muslim armies into Christian lands, Christendom lived under Islamic invasion not once but three times.It is obvious in this light why Christendom and Islam were in conflict because of the two-fold threat of conquest and of conversion.From the Islamic point of view, the conflict was entrenched the awareness that Christians were not merely barbarians, but a real threat due to the similarities in ideas and in equal drives of missionary expansionism.Lewis notes that the Muslims saw Christians as followers of a rival religion with a rival political system and a rival claim to what each thought of as the universal law of the land.
The Christian world was in conflict …


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