Discover the underlying causes to the current tensions between the followers of Muhammad and the West. Drawing on the Qur'an, chronicles of the Crusades, and contemporary writings, Riddell and Cotterell discuss Islamic history; describe basic beliefs; explore divisions between Muslim moderates and extremists; and suggest reforms and responses. Moves beyond stereotypes and addresses hard questions.
In recent months, much attention has been paid to Islam and the greater Muslim world. Some analysis has been openly hostile, while even more has been overly simplistic. Islam in Context goes behind the recent crisis to discuss the history of Islam, describe its basic structure and beliefs, explore the current division between Muslim moderates and extremists, and suggest a way forward.
Authors Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell draw from sources such as the Qur'an, early Christian chronicles of the Crusades, and contemporary Muslim and non-Muslim writings. They move beyond the stereotypes of Muhammad-both idealized and negative-and argue against the myth that relatively recent events in the Middle East are the only cause for the clash between Islam and the West.
Riddell and Cotterell ask the non-Muslim world to attempt to understand Islam from the perspective of Muslims and to acknowledge past mistakes. At the same time, they challenge the Muslim world by suggesting that Islam stands today at a vital crossroads and only Muslims can forge the way forward.
Islam in Context will appeal to all those who are interested in an alternative to the easily packaged descriptions of the relationship between Islam and the West.
Peter Riddell (Ph.D., Australian National University) is Director of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations at London Bible College. He is the author or editor of several books, including Islam: Essays on Scripture, Thought, and Society.
Peter Cotterell (Ph.D., London University) is Associate Senior lecturer at the Center for Islamic Studies. He has lectured for 19 years at London Bible College, where he also served as the principal.