"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eastern Christianity and Islam (V)

Given the critical comments I have advanced about recent publications--or the lack thereof--treating Orthodox-Muslim encounters in both the antique and modern period, criticisms I have put into a long "methodological" paper to be presented at a scholarly conference in Washington in October, I am very excited by the impending release at month's end of a new book:

Andrew M. Sharp, Orthodox Christians and Islam in the Postmodern Age (The History of Christian-Muslim Relations) (Brill, July 2012), viii + 281pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
The patristic, ecclesiological, and liturgical revival in the Orthodox Church has had a profound impact on world Orthodoxy and the ecumenical movement. Orthodox leaders have also contributed to the movement’s efforts in inter-religious dialogue, especially with Muslims. Yet this book is the first comprehensive attempt to assess an Orthodox ‘position’ on Islam. It explains why, despite being neighbors for centuries, relations between Orthodox Christians and Muslims have become increasingly complex as internal and external forces challenge their ability to understand each other and live in peace. It demonstrates how a growing number of Orthodox scholars and leaders have reframed the discussion on Islam, while endorsing and participating in dialogue with Muslims. It shows how a positive relationship with Muslims (and Islam in a general sense) is an essential aspect of Orthodox Christians’ historical past, present identity, and future aspirations. 
I have already contacted the author, and he has agreed to an interview, which I hope to run probably in the autumn.  

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