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Lecture Comparing Christianity and Islam

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Free Resource - August 19th, 2010
Today's Free Resource

Comparing Western Christendom & the Abode of Islam

This is the first lecture from the Modern Scholar course Islam and the West taught by Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

In this lecture professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr discusses the similarities and differences of early western Christendom and the Islamic World known as Dar al-Islam. He talks about the origins of each religious tradition and how Christianity split into western Christendom and the Eastern Orthodox Church centered in Byzantium, while Islam did not split and expanded quite rapidly throughout the Middle East and into Africa and Asia. He also talks the about the importance of the sacred Islamic language of Arabic which spread throughout the Islamic world, whereas Christendom's languages were much more diverse. And he discusses a number of other comparisons between early Christianity and Islam. Download this lecture on MP3.

Comparing Western Christendom & the Abode of Islam

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Islam and the West

Islam and Christianity share both remarkable similarities and remarkable differences. In the grand scheme, both are relatively recent religions, with Christianity taking hold in Northern Europe at about the same time that Islam took hold in the Persian world (although Christianity appeared on the scene six centuries before Islam).

Through the years, Islam and Christianity and the civilizations they created have influenced each other to greater and lesser extents in terms of arts, sciences, culture, and medicine. The Crusades produced the most violent confrontation of the two worlds, but it is also important to note the effect of Christian missionaries on Islam and that of Islamic science and literature on the West.

In light of the threat of terrorism in the new world order of the twenty-first century, it is imperative that the West and the Islamic world improve their understanding of their respective cultures. This course is conceived to reveal the interaction of these two religions and civilizations throughout their histories, highlight their similarities and differences, and, finally, show that Muslims and Christians share much common ground, especially in terms of morality, life issues, and family.

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Listen to a free sample lecture of: Islam and the West

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