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The West and IslamReligion and Political Thought in World History$
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Antony Black

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533206

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533206.001.0001

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Religion and Politics: The West, Islam, Byzantium

Religion and Politics: The West, Islam, Byzantium

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 Religion and Politics: The West, Islam, Byzantium
Source:
The West and Islam
Author(s):

Antony Black (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533206.003.0002

Early Christianity saw church and state as separate. Early Islam conceived a single 'umma under a single caliphate. It prescribed an all-embracing Shari'a. But after Constantine Christianity brought church and state together. In the Byzantine East, the emperor was assigned a divine mission. The Western church insisted on the clergy's independence. Some in the West tried to subordinate state to church, or vice versa; but the main trend was towards separation, and political thought became more secular. In Islam, the 'ulama became separate from the sultan but the relationship was not defined. Orthodox Jurists sought reintegration of religion and government. Separation between religion and politics in principle found little support. Christians, who had started as pacifists, adopted holy war and religious persecution; Muslims favoured limited toleration. There was thus both convergence and divergence between the two cultures: church and state.

Keywords:   caliph, 'ulama, emperor, clergy, holy war, persecution, toleration, convergence, divergence

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