Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion: Two Thousand Years of Christian Missions in the Middle East

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion: Two Thousand Years of Christian Missions in the Middle East

Article excerpt

Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion: Two Thousand Years of Christian Missions in the Middle East.

By Eleanor H. Tejirian and Reeva Spector Simon. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2012. Pp. xiv, 280. $35.

Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion makes an important contribution to the study of missions in and to the Middle East. Eleanor Tejirian, associate research scholar at the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, and Reeva Spector Simon, professor of history at Yeshiva University, both in New York City, have narrated the story of Christian missions in the Middle East in the context of political events--a much-needed and most helpful approach to the topic.

In about 200 pages the authors tell the whole story of Christian missions in the Middle East, from the beginnings of Christianity in the first century until the present day. Nine chapters cover two millennia of the most important political developments and missionary enterprises: the Christianization of the Roman Empire; pilgrimages, crusades and missions; the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks; the reconquest of Spain; Catholic and Protestant missionary movements and their connection with European diplomatic interventions in the Ottoman Empire; and World War I and its aftermath.

The authors assert in more than one place that World War I ended the whole missionary enterprise (xiv, 167). Thus, they devote chapter 7 to assessing the intended and unintended achievements and consequences of missionary endeavor. …

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