Islam and the West
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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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