From A to B

Rosenzweig locates a fundamental similarity between Judaism and Christianity in their mutual affirmation of protology and eschatology, which give form and meaning to the “middle things” that occur between A and B - that is, the middle things of world history. Rosenstock objects that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Francis on Islam

In the midst of many wonderful things in Francis I’s exhortation, there are some missteps. One of these comes towards the end in his pastoral advice concerning Islam. I don’t object to his exhortations to Christians to treat Muslims with dignity and love. He’s undoubtedly right . . . . Continue Reading »

Roots of Islamicism

Sayyid Qutb became something of a household name when he was identified as the intellectual inspiration behind al Qaeda. James Toth’s Sayyid Qutb: The Life and Legacy of a Radical Islamic Intellectual gives a portrait of the man and his thought. In his TLS review of Toth, Robert Irwin notes . . . . Continue Reading »

Thistle and Drone

Malise Ruthven reviews Akbar Ahmed’s The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam at the NYRB . One of the key themes of the book is that the US has mistaken the identity of its opponents by treating them as ideologues rather than as . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam and Conversion

Pastor Jeff Meyers writes to correct my quotation of Kuyper on Christian conversions to Islam, and points me to Rodney Stark’s The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion (204-5). Stark disputes the “widespread belief that Muslim . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam’s power

In a 1907 treatise on Islam , the Reformed theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper denied that Islam’s power could be attributed to sheer deception or manipulation. He found a spiritual power in Islam’s relentless monotheism, and suggested that Islam’s conquest of previously . . . . Continue Reading »

Ideal religion

Harrison ( ‘Religion’ and the Religions in the English Enlightenment , 12-13) argues that the Platonic revival of the Renaissance was one of the key sources for the modern notion of “religion.” The point is clearest in Ficino: “In De Christiana Religione (1474), he . . . . Continue Reading »