For more than 1,300 years, Muslims and Christians have lived together in Europe. For almost the entire period, though, neither has shown any interest in genuinely getting to know the other religion or in dialogue with its adherents, until the last half-century. This essay explores why this neglect transpired, reviewing the military tensions and cultural contrasts that inhibited engagement. That leads into consideration of what the scriptures of both religions nevertheless call their respective adherents to do—namely, to get to know the other. It then points out the necessity for Muslim-Christian dialogue in the present day and indicates some recent international and ecclesiastical initiatives that have taken place and that hold promise for better mutual understanding between Islam and Christianity.


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