Cover image for The shared well : a concise guide to relations between Islam and the West
The shared well : a concise guide to relations between Islam and the West
Van de Weyer, Robert.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 131 pages ; 23 cm
"Why do they hate us?": Islam and the West in conflict -- The Arab Empire. -- The crusades. -- The Ottoman Empire. -- Western imperialism. -- Islamic militancy. -- Zionism. -- The legacy. -- "Is mutual love and respect possible?": Islam and the West in harmony -- Christian roots of Islam. -- Philosophy and theology. -- Science, mathematics, and medicine. -- Politics and law. -- Warfare. -- The legacy. -- "What can we do--politically?": the politics of peace -- The globalization of goods and capital. -- False assumptions. -- The globalization of people and expertise. -- Politics after September 11. -- Towards political freedom. -- "What can we do--religiously?": the religion of peace -- The globalization of creeds and sects. -- False assumptions. -- The globalization of wisdom and symbols. -- Religion after September 11. -- Towards religious freedom. -- Conclusion: Freedom to live in peace -- Appendix 1: Muhammad, Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- Appendix 2: A guide to further reading.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL65.P7 V36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Describes the many ways that the people of Islamic and Western cultures can unite to build a more prosperous and harmonious world.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The authors' characterizations of opposing forces indicate how their perspectives on the current global conflict differ. For George, Christianity and Islam are in conflict; for Van de Weyer, Islam and Western culture are at odds. They concur, however, that Islam and the Western religion, Christianity, are sibling evangelical monotheisms with highly congruent ethical systems and prophetic pronouncements; and that peace, not war, will resolve the conflict. Divinity-school dean George clarifies the two religions' conceptualizations of God. For Islam, God is nonhuman and transcendent, whereas Christianity conceives of God relationally, which is why the doctrine of the Trinity, encompassing physical and spiritual relationship, is fundamental to Christianity. For Islam, obedience to God is needed to obtain love, forgiveness, and mercy, and sin is a matter of personal ignorance or forgetfulness of the duties of obedience. Christianity regards sin as personally intrinsic and inalienable, and it is the grace of God's relationship that guarantees love and promises mercy and forgiveness. The Christian response to even terroristic Islam is to preach and pray that all souls may be brought to Christ. Although Van de Weyer, like George, is a clergyman, the strength of his book lies in its rehearsal of Islamic-Western relations and its analysis of capitalist globalism, a phenomenon he dates from the eighteenth-century launching of European commercial empires. Van de Weyer saliently recognizes the role of shame, as well as the more frequently noted one of moral outrage, in Islamic reaction to economic imperialism. But the religious underpinning of his prescription (reducible to democracy and freedom of conscience) for resolving Islamic-Western strife may strike many as inadequate and even nihilistic. He suggests that the ideal symbol for a "free and open religion" of peace is "the figure 0," standing for "no beliefs." Still, his brief is a good historical-economical supplement to Roger Scruton's immensely cogent and persuasive The West and the Rest (see review p.1899), just as George's is Scruton's fine Christian apologetic complement. --Ray Olson

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introduction: Anguished Questionsp. 1
Chapter 1 "Why do they hate us?" Islam and the West in conflictp. 7
The Arab Empire
The Crusades
The Ottoman Empire
Western Imperialism
Islamic Militancy
The Legacy
Chapter 2 "Is mutual love and respect possible?" Islam and the West in harmonyp. 33
Christian Roots of Islam
Philosophy and Theology
Science, Mathematics, and Medicine
Politics and Law
The Legacy
Chapter 3 "What can we do--politically?" The politics of peacep. 55
The Globalization of Goods and Capital
False Assumptions
The Globalization of People and Expertise
Politics after September 11
Toward Political Freedom
Chapter 4 "What can we do--religiously?" The religion of peacep. 81
The Globalization of Creeds and Sects
False Assumptions
The Globalization of Wisdom and Symbols
Religion after September 11
Toward Religious Freedom
Conclusion: Freedom to Live in Peacep. 105
Appendix 1 Muhammad, Islam, Judaism, and Christianityp. 109
Appendix 2 A Guide to Further Readingp. 121
Indexp. 123
The Authorp. 131