Douglas & McIntyre
Sea of Faith

Book details:

August 2007
ISBN 978-1-55365-258-8
Paperback - Trade
6" x 9"
432 pages
History HIS000000
Nonfiction
$22.95 CAD

Douglas & McIntyre

Sea of Faith

Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World

<p>The long, shared history of Christianity and Islam began in the early seventh century AD with a question: Who would inherit the Greco-Roman world of Mediterranean? Sprung from the same source, the two faiths played out over the millennium what historia


A Globe and Mail 2006 Book of the Year

The long, shared history of Christianity and Islam began in the early 7th century AD with a question: Who would inherit the Greco-Roman world of the Mediterranean? Sprung from the same source-Abraham and the Revelation given to the Jews-the two faiths played out over the course of the next millennium what historian Stephen O'Shea calls "a sibling rivalry writ very large." Their cataclysmic clashes on the battlefield were balanced by long periods of co-existence and mutual enrichment, and by the end of the sixteenth century the religious boundaries of the modern world were drawn.

In Sea of Faith, O'Shea chronicles both the meeting of minds and the collisions of armies that marked the (interaction) of Cross and Crescent in the Middle Ages-the better to understand their apparently intractable conflict today. For all the great and everlasting moments of cultural interchange and tolerance-in Cordoba, Palermo, Constantinople-the ultimate "geography of belief" was decided on the battlefield. O'Shea vividly recounts seven pivotal battles between the forces of Christianity and Islam that shaped the Mediterranean world-from the loss of the Christian Middle East to the Muslims at Yarmuk (Turkey) in 636 to the stemming of the seemingly unstoppable Ottoman tide at Malta in 1565. In between, the battles raged round the Mediterranean, from distant Poitiers in France and Hattin in the Holy Land during the height of the Crusades, to the famed contest for Constantinople in 1453 that signaled the end of Byzantium. As much as the armies were motivated by belief, their exploits were inspired by leaders such as Charles Martel, Saladin, and Mehmet II, whose stirring feats were sometimes accompanied by unexpected changes of heart.

As in his widely praised previous books, The Perfect Heresy and Back to the Front, Stephen O'Shea narrates history on the ground, having visited each of the battle sites and many others around the Mediterranean. Blending a scholar's authority with his consummate skills as a narrator, he shines light on the distant past, offering timely and thought-provoking perspective on today's headlines.

A journalist and translator, Stephen O'Shea is the author of "The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars", and "Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I". A long-time denizen of Paris and New York, he is a widely published journalist and translator, and author of the highly acclaimed Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I. Born and raised in Ottawa, he now lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

About the Author

Stephen  O'Shea

Stephen O'Shea

Stephen O'Shea is a historian and the acclaimed author of Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World, The Perfect Heresy: ...

more >>
The Friar of Carcassonne

The Friar of Carcassonne

Stephen O'Shea

The Perfect Heresy

The Perfect Heresy

Stephen O'Shea