Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps the Best of Its Kind
on August 24, 2010
Goddard's book is a fair, constructive, and irenic history of these two religions that, unfortunately, have battled one another for centuries. I am using it as the first text in a college course on Christianity and Islam. It journeys through the historical terrain of Christian-Muslim relations as deftly as any book out there. In comparison to other books that attempt to do the same thing, Goddard's account is reader-friendly and shot through with interesting stories that cause students to reflect on what went wrong at critical moments between Muslims and Christians, what we can learn from these situations, and what we can do now to engage in constructive dialogue. The book's eight chapters tell the story of how Christianity and Islam emerged from Middle Eastern soil, Muhammad's interactions with Christians, then considers the various periods of Christian-Muslim interaction: the first age, the medieval period, the era of mission and imperialism, and the 19th-20th centuries (13th-14th centuries for Muslims). The final chapter challenges readers to move beyond confrontation to dialogue, to draw on the best of each of their traditions, and to view Christians and Muslims as fellow travelers on the road toward truth. Therefore, if you are looking for a resource that tells the all too often heartbreaking story of Christian-Muslim relations, then points to the possibilities for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence, this is the book for you.