Oosterse christenen binnen de wereld van de islam

Herman Teule en Anton Wessels (editors)

This book is 438-page collection of small papers about the history of Christian churches in countries controlled by Islam, and about the present-day situation. Seeing that my Patriarch resides in Constantinople, Istanbul for those buying a plane ticket, and that he still isn’t allowed to re-open his theological university on Halki Island, this topic is pretty interesting to me.

And the book did not disappoint. Most papers are clear and concise, and, as far as I can check, pretty accurate and well-researched. There are three parts: history, description of churches and recent development, giving a relatively complete introduction to the field. There are also a number of black-and-white reproduction of photographs and icons.

Given the incredible complexity of the situation caused by hundreds of years of oppression, internecine strife, Papal encroachment, crusades and what-not, a book like this can only be the beginning of further study; fortunately there’s a good bibliography, too, and a decent index.