Islam and the West

January 29, 2009

Dr. Jeffrey K. Jue, assoc. prof. of church history

For the last four years I have had the privilege of teaching church history at a Reformed confessional seminary. Our seminary curriculum is unique in that we require students enrolled in the Master of Divinity program to complete four church history courses. The courses are arranged chronologically beginning with the Ancient Church, followed by the Medieval Church, the Reformation, and the Church in the Modern Age.

Some have argued that so many courses in church history are unnecessary for students training for ministry, and those precious and limited classroom hours should be devoted to more directly applicable disciplines. However, I am convinced that history is very applicable for helping us understand our own time and place. The editor of TIME magazine put it well in stating the importance of "explaining the challenges of the moment in the context of history - and relating the values of our history to the challenges of the moment."[1]

Within our curriculum, I teach the Medieval and Modern courses, which is to say that I am the junior member of the department and consequently I picked last. Yet, in preparing for these two courses, I was amazed at how much the history of these two periods, medieval and modern, provide helpful clues for understanding what is arguably the most volatile and controversial events in our present day. At the same time, an accurate and deeper understanding of these two periods helps us to avoid misrepresenting those who are unfamiliar to us and perpetuating over-simplified stereotypes.[2] It is important for me to state from outset that in this short article I do not intend to give a political opinion on the war in Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or Iran's nuclear ambitions. Instead my interest in this article is to understand the historical roots behind the ideological clashes that are shaping and justifying violent postures and actions on both sides of the conflicts. Moreover, I would like to explore how we as Christians should respond theologically to these ideologies in light of the Gospel.

Post - 9/11

Ever since the tragic events of 9/11, and the subsequent bombings in London and Madrid, Europe and America have been confronted with what much of the media has labeled the "threat of radical Islam." 9/11 revealed that there are people who hate America and her allies, and are willing to commit violent acts against the citizens of these countries. The response to 9/11 inaugurated the War on Terrorism, with radical Islamists positioned as the enemy.

In the past five years there have been numerous studies discussing the ideological underpinnings of the political and military agendas, and religion has played a prominent role in those discussions. Some claim that this war is ultimately between Western Christendom and Islam. Osama bin Laden's call for jihad, or holy war, in February 1998, declared America, the implied symbol of Christendom, as the enemy of Islam.[3] Surprisingly, some Christians in America frame the war in the same terms, as a conflict between Christianity and Islam - Jerry Falwell's comments in his televised CNN debate with Jesse Jackson which aired on Oct. 24, 2004 is a good example. Others, like Andrew Sullivan, blame "fundamentalism," both the Christian and Islamic forms, because fundamentalism is basically dogmatic and intolerant in its exclusivist view of truth.[4] As such, Sullivan concludes that fundamentalism is inevitably prone to conflict. Now in the West, Christian fundamentalism is regularly distinguished from forms of non-fundamentalist Christianity, yet in the case of Islamic fundamentalism, often unqualified generalizations are used. As Edward Said observed, "fundamentalism equals Islam equals everything-we-must-now fight-against."[5] But what fascinates me, while listening to the rhetoric on both sides, are the historical echoes of the past that continue to shape and influence these ideological discussions. And some of these echoes are clouded by long standing canonical misrepresentations, which need to be revised. Perhaps by exploring the historical roots of these ideologies, we can understand better the present tensions and conflicts.

Medieval History

It is often stated that the roots of radical Islam are found in the medieval period. The rise and dominance of the Muslim world in this period is well documented. From Islam's inception in the seventh century to the height of its geographical expansion in the sixteenth century, Muslims culture, politics and religion continued to progress. Bernard Lewis writes, "For many centuries the world of Islam was in the forefront of human civilization and achievement. In the perception of Muslims, Islam itself was indeed coterminous with civilization, and beyond its borders there were only barbarians and infidels."[6] Throughout much of the medieval period, Muslims controlled the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and extended as far north as Russia. For many, this expansion was justified by divine mandate. By the sixteenth century, the Muslim Ottoman Empire extended so far west as to lay siege on the city of Vienna.

In an attempt to understand this period of military expansion, much attention has been given to Edward Gibbon's supposed quotes from the prophet Mohammed concerning holy war:

    The sword is the key to heaven and hell. One drop of blood shed in the cause of Allah, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer.

Likewise, "whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven."[7] These quotes along with sections from the Qur'an concerning the justification of holy war have been cited as examples of what motivated Islamic medieval expansion by warfare. It is possible to interpret these statements as simply teaching a principle that one's devotion to God has eternal consequences. Consequently, what you do in this life can drastically effect your state in the afterlife. However, these controversial statements continue to be used to portray Islam as a radical religion inseparable from doctrines that prescribe violence. Whether or not Islam is inherently a violent religion is questionable; the more revealing historical question is how unique was this justification for the use of violence in the medieval period?

Similarly, the roots of Christendom are found in medieval Europe. Since the fourth century, with the supposed conversion of the Emperor Constantine, Christianity assumed a near-state status in the Roman Empire. The privileged place of Christianity under Constantine resulted in the idea and establishment of Christendom, where the priorities and agendas of the Empire were often inseparable from those of the church. The success of Christianity accompanied the success of the Empire. But with the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, Europe was divided into various regional kingdoms and territories. Yet, the Christian church continued to be the single institution that unified Europe and perpetuated the idea of Christendom. While Christendom was challenged by the great schism of 1054, which resulted in the division between the Eastern and Western church, Christendom was revived in the face of a greater threat in the east and the desire to reclaim the birthplace of Christianity.

The church historian Justo Gonzáles writes,

    Among the many ideals that captivated the imagination of Western Christianity during the Middle Ages, no other was as dramatic, as overwhelming, or as contradictory, as was the crusading spirit. For several centuries, Western Europe poured her fervor and her blood into a series of expeditions whose results were at best ephemeral, and at worst tragic. What was hoped was to defeat the Moslems who threatened Constantinople, to save the Byzantine Empire, to reunite Eastern and Western branches of the church, to reconquer the Holy Land, and in doing all this to win heaven."[8]

Medieval Christians embarked upon a series of crusades with specific military, ecclesiastical, and religious goals, which were all theologically justified by divine mandate. At the beginning of the first crusade, Pope Urban II decreed:

    Although, O sons of God, you have promised more firmly than ever to keep the peace among yourselves and to preserve the rights of the church, there remains still an important work for you to do. Freshly quickened by the divine correction, you must apply the strength of your righteousness to another matter which concerns you as well as God. For your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them ... They have occupied more and more lands of those Christians ... They have killed and captured many, and they have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impurity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account, I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank ... to carry aid promptly to those questions and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.[9]

With this decree, Pope Urban II framed the crusade as a mandate from Christ, with the goal of protecting Christendom from its enemies. But that was not all. Urban added, "All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through power of God which I am invested."[10] For those who devoted themselves to the crusades, their actions had eternal consequences as well. It is interesting to observe the similarity between medieval Islam and medieval Christianity. Both viewed political, military and religious successes as one and the same. Both were convinced that God mandated their participation in war, and both believed that such participation would be rewarded in heaven. Nevertheless, the violent clashes between the Christian crusaders and the Muslim armies would leave an impression on the collective memories of Western Europeans (including Americans) and Muslims in the Middle East, creating a rigid distinction between "us" and "them," and ultimately define perceptions on both sides for centuries to follow.

Modern History

From the seventeenth century to the present the history of Islam as an empire is essentially a history of decline.[11] Again Lewis comments that "In most of the arts and sciences of civilization, medieval Europe was a pupil and in a sense a dependent of the Islamic world."[12] And then this relationship changed. "Even before the Renaissance, Europeans were beginning to make significant progress in the civilized arts. With the advent of the New Learning, they advanced by leaps and bounds, leaving the scientific and technological ... heritage of the Islamic world far behind them."[13] Western industrial and technological advancements produced, most significantly, new military weaponry that overwhelmed foreign armies in the Middle East, as well as Africa, South America and Asia. The late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries introduced the age of European Imperialism and Colonialism, where European nations conquered and divided the rest of the "uncivilized" world. When, as a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt it was a clear sign that a small European force could attack and occupy a central Islamic territory. Moreover when the French were finally driven out, it was not at the hands of the Egyptians, but by the Royal Navy. Thus Imperialism produced a history of occupation and re-occupation in the Middle East by European powers. Given this history, on one level, it is possible to understand the volatile reaction of many Arabs when Britain created the modern state of Israel in Palestine in 1948.

Consequently, Islamic nations in the Middle East needed to adapt in order to survive in the modern period. Necessary changes were required in Islamic societies that were viewed by some as a compromise of their religious convictions. Yet in order to free and protect themselves from European Imperial rule, many Islamic nations in the Middle East revised their political structures and reassessed their economic potential. The nineteenth century witnessed the secularization of a number of Islamic nations which replaced or restricted Islamic law with Western European laws. Turkey is a good example of this secularization. Likewise many of these nations turned to a single resource for economic wealth - oil.[14] The effects of these changes are wide ranging and must be assessed carefully. Said writes,

    I would say that most Arab Muslims today are too discouraged and humiliated, and also too anesthetized by uncertainty and their incompetent and crude dictatorships, to support anything like a vast Islamic campaign against the West.[15]

While the majority of Arab Muslims may not be active in supporting a "campaign against the West," as Said suggests, a minority has emerged who do disdain Western influence and dependence.

Without a doubt, Christianity in the West has also changed since the medieval period. Most significantly the Enlightenment of the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries completely restructured the categories in which people in the West understood themselves and the world around them. Specifically the work of Immanuel Kant and his well known noumenal/phenomenal distinction impacted Christianity in a substantial way. While Kant professed a form of theism, along with an admiration for Jesus, his writings do not bear any resemblance to orthodox Christianity. The phenomenal realm, for Kant, is the physical realm that humans exist in, which is perceived through our senses and organized by our minds. The human mind is the ultimate authority and Kant rejected any attempt to establish an authority outside of the mind, including divine revelation.[16] Subsequently, Kant relegated God to the noumenal realm, a realm not perceived through our senses or our minds, in other words not accessible from the phenomenal realm. While God may exist, for Kant there is no way to prove God's existence through either empirical or rational means.

Kant's impact would forever change the history of Christianity in Europe and North America. Before the Enlightenment, it would be difficult to find someone in Europe or North America who denied that God was knowable and that God had given a supernatural revelation that is both authoritative and trustworthy. In fact, Jews and Muslims would agree that God indeed had spoken in a supernatural form. But for Kant, that was impossible, and what followed were the decline of orthodox Christianity and the rise of theological Liberalism. Christianity was divested of all supernaturalism; so that the study of the Bible proceeded according to rational historical standards, Christian faith was reduced to subjective experience, and the exclusivity of the Gospel was replaced by inclusive social and moral agendas. In short, the Enlightenment brought the triumph of autonomous human reason, and it drastically transformed Christianity.

In the modern period engagement between Christianity and the non-Western world likewise changed. Christianity was no longer advanced through military crusades. Western Imperialism was reshaping the politics, economics and cultures of the territories claimed by colonial rule; and Western Imperial nations were also importing Christianity through the substantial missionary efforts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Access to Africa, Asia and the Middle East was unprecedented due to the economic and political desires of Western nations seeking to establish their influence and wealth. Missionaries used colonial outposts as launching grounds for their work. However, agendas were not always transparent. Were these missionaries ambassadors of the Gospel or agents for Imperial expansion, or both? The famous missionary to Africa, David Livingstone, wrote in a personal letter to the Reverend Adam Sedgwick in 1858:

    I go with the intention of benefiting both the African and my own countrymen. I take a practical mining geologist ...to tell us of the mineral resources of the country, an economic botanist to give a full report of the vegetable production ... An artist to give the scenery, a naval officer to tell of the capacity of river communication, and a moral agent to lay the foundation for anything that may follow. All of this machinery has for its ostensible object the development of African trade, and the promotion of civilization, but, what I tell to none but such as you in whom I have confidence, is this: I hope it may result in an English colony in the healthy highlands of Central Africa.[17]

In many parts of the world, including the Middle East, Christianity was viewed as a component of Western Imperialism.

It is important to recognize that not every missionary during the nineteenth century confused colonialist agendas with the message of the Gospel. Sincere Christians did travel the world, at great personal sacrifice, to share the hope of the Gospel. Yet, by the twentieth century the influence of the Enlightenment and Liberal theology impacted missionaries as well. The sentiments of Pearl S. Buck, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries in China and the author of the classic book The Good Earth, demonstrated this in her 1933 article that appeared in Harper's Monthly:

    In the old days it was plain enough. Our forefathers believed sincerely in a magic religion. They believed simply and plainly that all who did not hear the gospel, as they called it, were damned, and every soul to whom they preached received in that moment the chance for salvation from that hell ... There are those who still believe this, and if they sincerely believe, I honor that sincerity, though I cannot share the belief.[18]

Where Are We Today?

The answer to this question has sparked much debate amongst scholars of the Middle East. Bernard Lewis argues that the legacy of the crusades and Imperialism fostered a ferocious animosity in the Muslim world that is now directed at the major embodiment of Western culture and power, the United States of America. Lewis writes,

    What went wrong? For a long time people in the Islamic world, especially but exclusively in the Middle East, have been asking this question. The content and formulation of the question, provoked primarily by their encounter with the West, vary greatly according to the circumstances, extent, and duration of that encounter and the events that first made them conscious, by comparison, that all was not well in their own society. But whatever the form and manner of the question and of the answers that it evokes, there is no mistaking the growing anguish, the mounting urgency, and of late the seething anger with which both question and answers are expressed.[19]

Rebutting Lewis' interpretation, Edward Said claimed that Islam is not a monolithic entity and such generalizations only serve to perpetuate misrepresentations of Muslims. Instead Said states,

    I am not saying that Muslims have not attacked and injured Israelis and Westerners in the name of Islam. But I am saying that much of what one reads and sees in the media about Islam represents the aggression as coming from Islam because that is what "Islam" is. Local and concrete circumstances are thus obliterated. In other words, covering Islam is one-sided activity that obscures what "we" do, and highlights instead what Muslim and Arabs by their very flawed nature are.[20]

I agree with Said that it is important to avoid stereotyping the entire Muslim world according to perceptions drawn from specific historical contexts. The history of Islam in the Middle East, Asia, North America and Africa is not uniform and each bears its own complexities and characteristics. It is also important not to overlook the actions of Western countries, whether we are examining the medieval, modern or present circumstances. However, for Arab Muslims in the Middle East, the decline of medieval Islam and the subjugation of the Middle East by Imperial Western powers have left an indelible impact on those who are now calling for radical action. The result has been a resolute conviction, by some, to recover what they consider to be a pure and undefiled Islam. This is accomplished through various means including working for the re-establishment of an Islamic state and again waging war against their enemies, either the old perceived threat of Christendom or the reinvigorated agenda of a new Imperialism. Once again, some radical Islamists are calling for a holy war, sanctioned by God and the claim is that those who participate in this cause will receive eternal rewards in heaven.

What I find most interesting is that many in the West are not able to comprehend this radical Islamic ideology. Post-Enlightenment thinkers no longer accept any belief that claims eternal significance for our present actions or that God has given specific commands for us to obey. Following Kant, spiritual realities are beyond reason and therefore unverifiable, unknowable, and ultimately non-existent. In the West, what is real or what is true is that which can be proven or explained rationally. Consequently, the actions of Islamic martyrs, which are in part motivated by unseen eternal rewards, are viewed as "irrational" acts by Western intellectuals. Said writes, 'the assumption that whereas "the West" is greater than and has surpassed the stage of Christianity, its principal religion, the world of Islam - its varied societies, histories, and languages notwithstanding - is still mired in religion, primitivity, and backwardness.'[21] Andrew Sullivan is a prime example of this Western attitude of superiority. He states,

    How, after all, can you engage in a rational dialogue with a man like [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad, who believes that Armageddon is near and that it is his duty to accelerate it? How can Israel negotiate with people who are certain their instructions come from heaven and so decree that Israel must not exist in Muslim lands?[22]

The triumph of Enlightenment rationalism in the West has resulted in the inability to comprehend a Muslim ideology that never went through the Enlightenment, and this has produced a major obstacle for meaningful understanding and dialogue.[23] Instead the pre-modern Muslim ideology is ridiculed as an uncivilized irrational belief system.

Suggestions for the 21st Century Church

Twenty-first-century Evangelical Christianity, like medieval Christianity, still bears one similarity with Islam. Evangelical Christianity teaches that there is a God, he is knowable, and how we respond to God's revelation does have eternal consequences. While the Evangelical understanding of the Gospel is not the same as the medieval, both medieval Christians and Evangelicals disagree with the Enlightenment's dismissal of the spiritual and supernatural. On this singular point, Islam and Evangelicalism are in agreement. Again, Andrew Sullivan acknowledges this agreement and argues that this "fundamentalist" attitude must be replaced with a "spiritual humility" and a "sincere religious doubt."[24] By that, Sullivan is advocating a humble faith that does not hold dogmatically to any particular doctrines because humans are not omniscient and subsequently can never speak of anything without some uncertainty or doubt. He hopes that this will produced a way forward. Sullivan writes:

    If we cannot know for sure at all times how to govern our own lives, what right or business do we have telling others how to live theirs? From a humble faith comes toleration of other faiths. And from that toleration comes the oxygen that liberal democracy desperately needs to survive. That applies to all faiths, from Islam to Christianity.[25]

Essentially, for Sullivan, religion is not about "what we believe," but "what we do," since all beliefs are tentative and tenuous. But to follow Sullivan's suggestion is to deny the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel and affirm post-Enlightenment Liberal theology.

How should Evangelical Christians in America respond? Let me offer three suggestions. First, the idea of Christendom must be reassessed. Many Evangelicals in America resemble the post-Constantine Christians who had difficulty distinguishing Rome from the church. Instead America is seen as assuming the role of the Roman Empire and the protector of Christendom. In this context, Timothy George suggests that the teachings of Augustine in his monumental book The City of God are very helpful.[26] Augustine witnessed the decline of Rome and his book urged disillusioned Christians to recognize their dual citizenship in the city of God and the city of man, and to keep the two cities distinct. For Augustine the City of God, or the church on earth, will experience trials and difficulties, but the Lord promises to sustain and preserve the church. Likewise

Augustine encouraged Christians to live and work in the city of man, or the world, but not to place their ultimate hope in earthly agendas. George believes that these lessons are just as important for us today. He writes,

    With the assumptions of "Christendom" shaken again today by the forces of terror, Augustine teaches us that we must not equate any political entity - whether it the Roman Empire, the American republic, the United Nations, or anything else - with the kingdom of God ... Christianity, especially in the Augustinian perspective, requires a proper respect for the complementary but clearly distinguishable roles of church and civil authority.[27]

Evangelicals in America must distinguish and not blur their responsibilities to the church and to the civil government. Augustine's theology helps us to maintain faithfully the mission of the church to preach the Gospel, while also pursuing justice in the world. I believe it is important for Muslims to see that Christian Gospel is not identical to American foreign policies.

Second, contrary to what Sullivan suggests, Evangelicals should not abandon their fundamental doctrinal beliefs. In a recent sermon Timothy Keller describes how in the general culture the overwhelming opinion is that "religion" has a tendency to divide people, because each religion claims they are right and others are wrong, which ultimately can lead to conflict.[28] As a result, some argue that the only way for religions to peacefully coexist is to focus on the commonalities between all religions, and to minimize the differences. However, Keller explains that such an approach to Christianity will never accomplish true reconciliation and peace. Instead Keller is convinced that a deep understanding of the uniqueness of Christianity, including its exclusivity, is the only way for Christians to be real agents of peace. How? Keller argues that Christianity is the only religion whose origin is not found in a mere man or a set of teachings, but is found in God who became man. And the purpose for the incarnation is for God himself to accomplish the work of salvation. Keller believes that understanding the uniqueness of Christianity will produce a genuine attitude of humility and service. Christianity asserts that God became a man and "lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died." This is utterly distinct from Islam and medieval Christianity which is built on a system of individual performance which leads to pride and arrogance. True Christians cannot be boastful and claim superiority in their religion, instead a Christian must be humble and loving; this is because, as Keller reminds us, the heart of Christianity is Jesus Christ "on a cross, loving people, who don't love him."

Third, I suggest that American Evangelicals must pray and support Christians in other parts of the non-Western world. Philip Jenkins' startling book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity describes the recent history of western Christianity with some of the characteristics that we have explored already. Jenkins' writes,

    We are currently living through one of the transforming moments in the history of religion worldwide. Over the past five centuries or so, the story of Christianity has been inextricably bound up with that of Europe and European derived civilizations overseas, above all in North America. Until recently, the overwhelming majority of Christians have lived in White nations, allowing theorists to speak smugly, arrogantly, of "European Christian" civilization. Conversely, radical writers have seen Christianity as an ideological arm of Western imperialism.[29]

Jenkins goes on to observe that the growing secularization of the West has resulted in a massive decline in the number of Christians in the West, marking Christianity's "dying days." However, the same decline is not occurring in other parts of the world. Jenkins' states,

    Over the past century, however, the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably southward, to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Already today, the largest Christian communities on the planet are to be found in Africa and Latin America ... Whatever Europeans or North Americans may believe, Christianity is doing very well indeed in the global South - not just surviving but expanding.[30]

If Jenkins is correct, then perhaps the interaction between Christianity and Islam, and subsequently the opportunities for evangelism, should take a different form in the future. Instead of the traditional pattern of Western missionaries taking the lead and relocating to Muslim countries, Western Christians should recognize their limitations and give way to the leadership of Christians from Africa, Asia and Latin America in bringing the Gospel to the Muslim world. African, Asian and Latin American Christians do not carry the same impassioned historical freight that Western Christians bear. It would be difficult to dismiss an Asian Christian who is unfamiliar with the history of Western Christendom, and who could just as easily lament the atrocities of Imperialism. There are reports of Chinese Christians in China strategically focusing their evangelistic efforts on Muslim countries. Not only do they avoid Western stigmas, but members of the house church in China have had first hand experience with persecution and suffering, something the church in the West has long forgotten, but which Christian missionaries in Muslim countries maybe confronted with. In this case it seems that the Chinese church is uniquely positioned and advantaged to go and, humanly speaking, be effective, where missionaries from the West potentially would be a hindrance.

I do not want to give the impression that all Christians in the West have no active or direct role. Today, America is a diverse place with a multiplicity of ethnicities represented. As a result of this diversity, there are many Americans with advantageous bi-cultural experiences. These bi-cultural experiences provide a sensitivity and perspective for ministering to those who do not have the same history or share the same assumed beliefs and values. African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and others, can play a unique evangelistic role. In the providence of God, the arrival of global Christianity and the partnership between Western churches and churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America, could be the means in which the true Gospel reaches the Muslim world. Indeed, we in the West should pray that God would use the global church to continue the work of the Gospel in the twenty-first century in bringing the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

[1] Richard Stengel, "Why History Matters," TIME (July 3, 2006), p. 8.

[2] Edward W. Said's Orientalism (New York, 1978) is a helpful study that challenges longstanding stereotypes and misrepresentations.

[3] Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (HarperCollins: New York, 2003), pp. 163-165.

[4] Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul (New York, 2006).

[5] Edward Said, Covering Islam (New York, 1981), p. xix.

[6] Lewis, What Went Wrong?, p. 3.

[7] Quoted from Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 5 (London, 1898), pp. 360-361.

[8] Justo Gonzáles, The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present (Peabody, MA, 2004, 3rd printing), p. 292.

[9] From Edgar Holmes McNeal (ed.), Oliver J. Thatcher (trans.), A Source Book for Medieval History (New York, 1905), pp. 513-517.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Edward W. Said, Covering Islam, p. 5.

[12] Lewis, What Went Wrong?, p. 7.

[13] Ibid. 7.

[14] Ibid. 151. Also see Bernard Lewis, From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East (Oxford and New York, 2004), pp. 221-231

[15] Said, Covering Islam, p. xxxv.

[16] Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793).

[17] Letter dated 6 February 1858 from David Livingstone to Andrew Sedgwick in T. M. Hughes and J. W. Clark (eds.), The Life and Letters of the Reverend Andrew Sedgwick (1890), p. 338.

[18] Pearl S. Buck, "Is There a Case for Foreign Missions?" Harper's Monthly Magazine (1933), p. 149.

[19] Lewis, What Went Wrong?, p. 3.

[20] Said, Covering Islam, p. xxii. It is important to note that Said has been critiqued for falling into that which he so adamantly criticizes, when he described a monolithic European Imperial agenda. See Mark F. Proudman, 'Disraeli as an "Orientalist": The Polemical Errors of Edward Said," The Journal of the Historical Society, volume 5:4 (2005), pp. 547-568.

[21] Said, Covering Islam, p. 10.

[22] Andrew Sullivan, "When Not Seeing Is Believing," Time (October 9, 2006), p. 59.

[23] It is interesting to note that some scholars are attempting to reconcile congenial aspects of Islam with post-Enlightenment thinking. See Erik Borgman and Pim Valkenberg (eds.), Islam and Enlightenment: New Issues (London, 2005).

[24] Sullivan, "When Not Seeing Is Believing," p. 59.

[25] Ibid. 60.

[26] Timothy George, "Theology for an Age of Terror," Christianity Today (September 2006), pp. 79-81.

[27] Ibid. 80.

[28] Timothy J. Keller, "Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion?" Sermon preached at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, New York, Sept. 24, 2006.

[29] Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford, 2002), pp. 1-2.

[30] Ibid. 2