American Christians and Islam

(April 8, 2010) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Author Thomas Kidd will discuss his recent book, "American Christians and Islam," in this free and public McConnell Center event.
When Apr 08, 2010
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville
Contact Name
Contact Phone 502-852-8811
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Join Thomas S. Kidd, PhD, (Baylor University) for a discussion about the causes of the mounting tensions between American Christians and Muslims today. In his free and public McConnell Center lecutre, Kidd will discuss his book, "American Christians and Islam," which traces American evangelical culture and Muslims from the Colonial Period to the Age of Terrorism.

The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations required.

About the Book

Tracing Islam's role in the popular imagination of American Christians from the Colonial Period to today, Kidd suggests that Protestant evangelicals have viewed Islam as a global threat—while also actively seeking to convert Muslims to the Christian faith—since the nation's founding. He shows how accounts of "Mahometan" despotism and lurid stories of European enslavement by Barbary pirates fueled early evangelicals' fears concerning Islam and describes the growing conservatism of American missions to Muslim lands up through the post-World War II era. Kidd exposes American Christians' anxieties about an internal Islamic threat from groups like the Nation of Islam in the 1960s and America's immigrant Muslim population today, and he demonstrates why Islam has become central to evangelical "end-times" narratives. Pointing to many evangelicals' unwillingness to acknowledge Islam's theological commonalities with Christianity and their continued portrayal of Islam as an "evil" and false religion, Kidd suggests Christians themselves are ironically to blame for the failure of evangelism in the Muslim world.

About the Lecturer

Thomas Kidd is associate professor of history at Baylor University and resident scholar at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America and The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism.