"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).

Friday, September 11, 2015

Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt

2015 is shaping up to be a record year for the number of books published on Eastern Christian-Muslim relations. I've noted a few on here, and will note still others, and one of these days hope that my administrative-academic burdens--and other publishing commitments--let up later this fall so that I can review some of them on here.

One that came out in late spring is Henrik Lindberg Hansen, Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt: Politics, Society and Interfaith Encounters (I.B. Tauris, 2015), 304pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
The subject of Christian-Muslim relations in the Middle East—and indeed in the West—attracts much academic and media attention. Nowhere is this more the case than in Egypt, which has the largest Christian community in the Middle East, estimated at 6-10 per cent of the national population. Henrik Lindberg Hansen analyzes this relationship, offering an examination of the nature and role of religious dialogue in Egyptian society. Taking three main religious organizations and institutions in Egypt (namely the Azhar University, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Coptic Orthodox Church), Hansen argues that religious dialogue involves a close examination of societal relations, and how these are understood and approached. Including analysis of the occasions of violence against Christian communities in 2011 and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013, Hansen provides a wide-ranging exploration of the importance of religion in Egyptian society and everyday encounters with a religious ‘other’. This makes his book vital for researchers of both religious minorities in the Middle East and interfaith dialogue in a wider context.

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