The Christian-Muslim Relations projects

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Read the latest CMR1900 newsletters

Islam and Christianity share an intricate history that goes back fourteen centuries. Present attitudes between Muslims and Christians are shaped by the remembrance of conflict and cooperation. In order to understand the historical dimensions of mutual perceptions in modern times, the roots of Christian-Muslim relations need to be recovered and accurately mapped.

Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, an encyclopaedic compilation of the records of past encounters in a single history, will provide an essential research tool to do just that. CMR600 and CMR1900 will bring together the known writings by Christians and Muslims about one another and against one another in the period 600-1914. Its scope is global, aiming to identify and analyse these works in all parts of the world.

The project traces the history of relations between the followers of the world’s two most populous religions, bringing together academics and contributions from all over the world. The project is based at the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, where the core team coordinate five regional teams covering Africa and the Americas; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; the Middle East and North Africa; and South Asia, East Asia, South-East Asia and Oceania. 

Project aims

The overall aim of the CMR projects is to explore the following question:

What happened to Christian-Muslim relations in the period 600-1914?  More specifically, in their accounts of one another, how did Christians and Muslims deploy inherited depictions, and how far did they move beyond these?

To this end, each regional team has been working to:

  • Identify all relevant works written in the region between 1500 and 1914, that is those that are wholly or mainly about or against the other faith, and works that contain significant information or opinions that shed light on attitudes towards it.
  • Identify specialists on particular texts, authors, periods or subjects.
  • Commission descriptive and analytical entries on each of these works.
  • Sponsor large-scale analyses of themes and attitudes revealed within them.

Thematic volumes

In addition to the bibliographical volumes, a series of thematic studies will also be produced. These will be based on works from the whole period 600-1914 (employing for this material from both CMR600 and CMR1900), on the transmission of images and attitudes, their development and deployment in various parts of the world. These studies will take the form of chapters contributed by project members and also invited scholars to one or more volumes of a thematic history.

Online resources

The entries and essays contributed to the printed volumes are available as an online resource hosted by Brill.  These resources are fully searchable and will be continually added to as we discover other relevant works and authors, making CMRO1 (600-1500) and CMRO2 (1500-1914) the fullest available sources in the field.

Contact

If you are interested in contributing entries to the bibliographical or thematic volumes, please contact the Research Officer Dr John Chesworth at j.a.chesworth@bham.ac.uk

You can also tweet us @cmr1900project