By Christine Leigh Heyrman
The outstanding story of the 1st American Protestant missionaries to proselytize within the Muslim world
In American Apostles, the Bancroft Prize-winning historian Christine Leigh Heyrman brilliantly chronicles the 1st fateful collision among American missionaries and the various non secular cultures of the Levant. Pliny Fisk, Levi Parsons, Jonas King: notwithstanding almost unknown this day, those 3 younger New Englanders commanded realization around the usa 2 hundred years in the past. bad boys steeped within the biblical prophecies of evangelical Protestantism, they turned the founding individuals of the Palestine challenge and ventured to Ottoman Turkey, Egypt, and Syria, the place they sought to show the falsity of Muhammad's creed and to revive those bastions of Islam to actual Christianity. not just one of the first american citizens to trip during the heart East, the Palestine missionaries additionally performed a vital function in shaping their compatriots' figuring out of the Muslim world.
As Heyrman exhibits, the missionaries extremely joyful their American readers with stories of crossing the Sinai on camel, crusing a canal boat up the Nile, and exploring the traditional urban of Jerusalem. yet their deepest journals and letters frequently inform a narrative some distance faraway from the stories they spun for domestic intake, revealing that their missions didn't cross based on plan. rather than changing the center East, the individuals of the Palestine project themselves skilled unexpected non secular demanding situations as they debated with Muslims, Jews, and japanese Christians and pursued an elusive Bostonian convert to Islam. As occasions confounded their expectancies, a number of the missionaries constructed a sophisticated interest about-even an appreciation of-Islam. yet others devised photographs of Muslims for his or her American audiences that might either gas the 1st wave of Islamophobia within the usa and forge the long run personality of evangelical Protestantism itself.
American Apostles brings to existence evangelicals' first encounters with the center East and uncovers their complex legacy. The Palestine project held the promise of acquainting american citizens with a fuller and extra exact knowing of Islam, yet eventually it strengthened a extra militant Christianity, one who grew to become the unofficial creed of the U.S. over the process the 19th century. The political and spiritual results of that end result suffer to this present day.
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Additional resources for American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of Islam
Allah, Kami, Shiva, Vishnu, Mazda, Devi, Ganesa, Varuna, Purina, Brahma, Krishna, Kali. Except for Santa Claus they were too hard to pronounce, too hard to remember, and too hard to spell. Sunday night the evangelist preached on mistake number two: selecting Jerusalem not only for the center of Judaism but 25 26 S LOUCHING T OWARD Z ION AND M ORE L IES for Christianity as well. When those two religions proclaimed Jerusalem to be a holy city, of course the Mohammedans wanted it. By claiming Jerusalem as one of their holy places, Muslims pretended their religion was the equal of the religions established by God: first, the Jewish religion to prepare the way for Christianity, and then Christianity as God’s final and absolute answer.
Thurston asked. Brother Jerry sighed. Just as God used the Babylonians to punish Israel for idolatry, God had used the godless Yankees to punish the South for making cotton king instead of Jesus. Brother Jerry said that before the War Between the States there was no rape or miscegenation in the south. And there was no abortion, incest, or pornography until the government gave women the vote and forced white girls to sit with black boys on the bus. What did they expect white males to do to get some respect?
He thought of writing his prayers so God could read them. That might be all right with God, but Baptists didn’t hold with religion that was thought out. The pastor opened the Good Book, read whatever passage was under his thumb and said whatever came to his mind. That’s the way it sounded to Tommy. Like the pastor was stumbling around for an idea he could denounce with fervor while all over Chillicothe pot roasts turned as dry as a West Texas county with one bootlegger and sixteen Baptist churches.