© Columbia University Press
Cloth, 296 pages,
$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.