Charles Tieszen, "The Christian Encounter with Muhammad: How Theologians Have Interpreted the Prophet" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

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Muhammad has not only been at the center of Muslims discussions of prophethood but he has also been the focus for many Christians as well. In The Christian Encounter with Muhammad: How Theologians have Interpreted the Prophet (Bloomsbury, 2020), Charles Tieszen, Ph.d., University of Birmingham, introduces a wide variety of depictions throughout history and assesses how Muhammad is used in the context of differing Christian doctrinal and social issues. His examples range from medieval Christian communities writing Syriac, to those living in Al-Andalus, to west Africa, and more. Across these case studies Tieszen seeks to understand how the Prophet was used to support, justify, or contest various positions both within Christian debates and broader inter-religious exchanges. In our conversation we discuss Christian writings about Muhammad from late antiquity to the modern times, narratives about the Christian Monk Bahira, John of Damascus, early Syriac Texts, the martyr movement of Cordoba, Latin depictions of the Prophet, Christian letters addressed to Muslims, Mary Fisher the English Quaker who traveled to Ottoman Turkey, Samuel Ajayi Crowther the Yoruba convert and west African Christian missionary, Professor of World Christianity Lamin Sanneh, and what these discussions tell us about Christian-Muslim relations.

Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu.

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