What Do The Religions Say About Each Other?

Christian Attitudes towards Islam; Islamic Attitudes towards Christianity

William Stoddart

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2008.
136 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59731-089-5
Price: $16.95 US
Buy now on Amazon.com

As a result of Islamic terrorism many people—including some in high places—have quickly come to the conclusion that Islam is a religion of violence and, as such, is the sworn enemy of Christianity and the Western way of life. This may be understandable, but the matter is not quite so simple.

This book provides the necessary historical background to the problem, and it does so by supplying a wealth of documentation which powerfully records the amicable and fruitful relations which, over the centuries, have repeatedly manifested themselves between Christianity and Islam.

What has gone wrong now? Is it possible that this spirit, once so frequent, can again be recovered–in whole or even in part? On the evidence presented in this book, this would seem to be more than just a pious hope.

The Old Testament says: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” This book copiously supplies the background knowledge that is needed for our understanding in this age of absurd, cruel, and apparently unending wars.

Table of Contents

Attitudes —The Importance of Orthodoxy —The Downward Cycle

The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles —The Virgin Mary: The House of Mary (Meryem Ana Evil)

Roman Catholic
Pius XI (1857-1958)—Pius XII (1876-1958)
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1484)—Cardinal Tisserant (1884-1972)
The Nigerian Bishops (1960)—The Bishop of Gerona (died 954) by Nicolau d"Oliver —Bishop of Tripoli by the Duke Alberto Denti di Pirajno
Adelhard of Bath (12th century English monk)—John of Gorze (10th century German monk) by Angus Macnab
Kings and Knights
Sicily in the Norman period (approx. 1070-1200)
The Templars

Eastern Christian
Bahirâ (6th century Syrian monk) by Martin Lings—Nestorian Patriarch Ishyob III (reigned 649-660 A.D.)—Greek Patriarch Michael III (reigned 1169-1177)—The secretary of Saladin (1138-1193 A.D.)—The monks of Mount Athos

A Presbyterian's experience of Islam—Prof. A. J. Arberry (1905-1969) —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Cabinet minister
Colonel Juan Beigbeder, Foreign Minister of Spain
Sister Mary Campion—Eric Gill (1882-1940)

Koranic verses relevant to Christianity
Sayings of Mohammed relevant to Christianity and Christians—Mohammed shields the icon of the Virgin and Child—A Letter of Mohammed
The "Rightly-Guided" Caliphs (khulafâ rashidûn)
The Early Caliphs—The Caliph Omar (581-644)
The Sufis
Ibrahim ibn Adham (died 777)—Ibn 'Arabî (died 1240) —Rumi (1207-1273)—Al-Ghazali (died 1111)—Abd al-Qadir (1808-1883)—Mulay Ali (1st half of 20th century)—Ahmad al-'Alawî (1869-1934)
Sultans and Saints
Abu Walîd (11th cent.)—Ibn Ahmar (13th cent.)—St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and St. Louis, King of France (1214-1270)—The Emir of Damascus and St. John of Damascus (14th cent.)—King Mohammed V of Morocco (1909-1961)
Ernst Kühnel (born 1882)—Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931)—Duncan Townson—Titus Burckhardt (1908-1984) —Evangelos Papaioannou (St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai)


In an age of facile ecumenism, Stoddart"s bracing premise of rigorous religious orthodoxy reminds us that religions are noble allies against secularism and not interchangeable credos. His collection of quotations and quaintly inspiring anecdotes reveal the depth and warmth of the spiritual fraternity that can exist between believers of contending faiths and, not least, between Christians and Muslims.
Mark Perry, author of On Awakening and Remembering

About the Author

William Stoddart was born in Carstairs, Scotland, lived most of his life in London, England, and now lives in Windsor, Ontario. He studied modern languages and medicine at the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Pursuing his religious studies, he has traveled widely in Europe (including Mount Athos), Morocco, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, and Japan. He has authored, compiled and translated many books on the subject of the sophia perennis.