American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of Islam

Christine Leigh Heyrman. Hill and Wang, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8090-2398-1
Through excerpts from missionary journals and evangelical periodicals, Heyrman (Southern Cross) uncovers early American evangelical encounters with the world of Islam surrounding the Mediterranean at the beginning of the 19th century in this fascinating study. American missionaries, endeavoring to convert the masses in the Ottoman Empire (and simultaneously challenge Roman Catholicism and Eastern Christianity), brought back to the U.S. a caricature of Islam that fit their own political goals. Heyrman argues this interaction formed a permanent imprint on American Christianity that stifled increased pluralism while also producing forms of “muscular Christianity.” Filled with curious characters and careful analysis, this archival work reads in part like a historical novel, with well-researched sources and documents mined for depth and continuity. While Heyrman’s conclusions are sometimes speculative, anyone interested in evangelical history, American Christianity, foreign missions history, or Christian-Muslim relations will readily enjoy this work. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-8090-2399-8
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-8090-1652-5
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