Muslim-Christian Relations: Past, Present, Future

Article excerpt

Muslim-Christian Relations: Past, Present, Future.

By Ovey N. Mohammed, S.I. Maryknoll,N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1999. Pp. vi, 144. Paperback$16.

This work provides a window into ongoing thinking by Catholic theologians on the challenging issue of Christian relations with, and attitudes toward, other faiths.

Father Mohammed, a Jesuit priest, devotes the first chapter to an orthodox thumbnail sketch of Islamic history, scripture, and belief. Chapter 2 summarizes the historical background to modern-day Christian-Muslim relations, firmly linking European colonial expansion with Christian mission. In these chapters the author makes no attempt to engage with, or even briefly refer to, alternative approaches to the important topics addressed. For example, he indicates no knowledge of revisionist school challenges to normative Muslim historiography. Moreover, no mention is made of the missionaries who spoke firmly against colonial expansion, nor does the author explain that in some locations, such as northern Nigeria, colonial authorities were protective of local Muslim structures and actively prevented Christian missionaries from working in these areas.

The third chapter includes reference to past studies by Christians of Islam, as well as Muslim approaches to interreligious relations. The author summarizes here the approaches of both polemical and irenic Christian voices. …