From Islam declaring Jihad against the west, to Arab against Jew, to Catholic against Protestant, one question resonates with the global threat we face today: Why does God inspire the killing of Man?
Renowned historian Christopher Catherwood vividly recounts a saga of passion and prejudice that laid the foundation for our own troubled age. Beginning with the death in 632 of Muhammad--as much political leader and general as prophet--Islam commenced its breathtaking spread, which, under Muhammad's successors, eventually conquered an empire larger than Rome's. Even as this vast realm broke apart into Sunni and Shiite factions, the Christian retaliation--ruthlessly and unscrupulously unleashed in 1095 with the First Crusade--sparked a clash between East and West that continues to this day. The pattern would repeat itself again and again: with the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans, in which the same Islamic faith that had once been an institution of tolerance in places like Spain became an instrument of expansion; with the wars of the Reformation, when Catholic and Protestant slaughtered each other in the name of the Prince of Peace; and with the endless conflicts of today's Middle East, savagely fought over by three faiths that all worship the same God.
Based on exhaustive research and written with an unflinching, unbiased eye toward revealing the often painful truth, Making War in the Name of God unveils humanity's ancient habit of sanctifying bloodshed--and exposes a past that we forget at our peril.
Christopher Catherwood teaches history at Cambridge University in England and at the University of Richmond (Virginia). A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is the author of several acclaimed books, including Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq, A God Divided: Understanding the Differences Between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and Whose Side Is God On?
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Moderates will like this book. Those who want their history visceral (such as Christopher Hitchens) will not.