Faith and Sword gives a wide-ranging and detailed survey of what has arguably been the longest conflict in human history – a conflict that continues, in a new form, to this day. The overtly religious Christian-Muslim struggle lasted for nearly thirteen centuries, and for most of that period the Muslims were in the ascendant. The Christians eventually halted the tide of Arab conquest, but their counterstroke in the Crusades ended in failure and the Muslim threat was renewed by the Ottoman Turks. Only after 1600 did Christians finally begin to gain the upper hand, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War seeming to mark the final Christian victory. Between 1918 and today, however, the Christian-Muslim conflict continued, albeit in different guises: Christendom became the largely secularized West, while religious fundamentalism revived on the Muslim side and the usa became its principal target.
In this revised paperback edition Alan G. Jamieson brings the story right up to date through all its stages, and shows how the present situation has emerged. He ranges widely in time, from the original Arab conquests in the seventh century to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. All areas of conflict are included, from Morocco to Indonesia, and from Russia to Somalia. With a new introduction and a whole new chapter on current conflicts, this authoritative and readable study will appeal to scholars, students and the general reader, giving an accessible introduction to one of the most important conflicts of our time.
‘Jamieson’s Faith and Sword is precisely the book I have been waiting for: scholarly yet accessible, intelligent and impartial, providing an excellent context.’ – The Age
Alan G. Jamieson is a researcher and writer based in Alberta, Canada. He is the author of Lords of the Sea: A History of the Barbary Corsairs (Reaktion Books, 2012).