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

Eleanor H. Tejirian and Reeva Spector Simon

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October, 2012
Cloth, 296 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-13864-2
$35.00 / £24.00

Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion surveys two thousand years of the Christian missionary enterprise in the Middle East within the context of the region’s political evolution. Its broad, rich narrative follows Christian missions as they interacted with imperial powers and as the momentum of religious change shifted from Christianity to Islam and back, adding new dimensions to the history of the region and the nature of the relationship between the Middle East and the West.

Historians and political scientists increasingly recognize the importance of integrating religion into political analysis, and this volume, using long-neglected sources, uniquely advances this effort. It surveys Christian missions from the earliest days of Christianity to the present, paying particular attention to the role of Christian missions, both Protestant and Catholic, in shaping the political and economic imperialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Eleanor H. Tejirian and Reeva Spector Simon delineate the ongoing tensions between conversion and the focus on witness and “good works” within the missionary movement, which contributed to the development and spread of nongovernmental organizations. Through its conscientious, systematic study, this volume offers an unparalleled encounter with the social, political, and economic consequences of such trends.

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About the Author

Eleanor H. Tejirian is an associate research scholar at the Middle East Institute, Columbia University. She is the coeditor, with Reeva Spector Simon, of The Creation of Iraq, 1914–1921 and Altruism and Imperialism: Western Religious and Cultural Missions in the Middle East. Reeva Spector Simon is the author of Iraq Between the Two World Wars: The Militarist Origins of Tyranny and Spies and Holy Wars: The Middle East in Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction. She is also a coeditor of The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times.

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