From the foreword:
“The ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis is a gimmick, like ‘The War of the Worlds,’ better for reinforcing defensive self-pride than for critical understanding of the bewildering interdependence of our time. This book, in focusing on the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ in Jewish and Muslim thought, is an attempt in this direction.”
Although the “politicization” of religion or “sacrilization” of politics is not restricted to the Middle East, this phenomenon found its most spectacular expressions in the region. These essays examine, in an original and innovative manner, the complex relation between political and national identity and the three major religions of the contemporary Middle East–Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Although the focus is on Palestinian-Israeli relations, the study is relevant to the entire history of the modern Middle East. Discussions of the Palestinian-Israeli arena include the conflictive relations between the two national communities and the political role played by religion in shaping the conflict, the escalation of the conflict, and possible avenues for reaching a peace agreement.
The contributors, an international group of scholars from Israel, Palestine, Europe, and the United States, explore common theological and political ground shared by Jews and Muslims, a novel comparative approach that could lead to future dialogue along theological as well as political lines.