History of Christian-Muslim Relations

Todd M. Johnson
Instructor: Todd M. Johnson
Code: CH/WM653
Section: HA
Prerequisites: None
Location: Hamilton AC235, Digital Live
Schedule: Tues & Thurs, 8:00–9:25am
Dates: Jan 25–May 7

Course Description

This course explores the complex relationship between Christians and Muslims throughout the entire history of Islam, giving attention to the historical and scriptural sources that speak on or about each other and their usage by Christian and Muslim interlocutors. The focus of the course will be to introduce students to the origins of the encounter, the diversity of historical contexts of the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and North America, and how those encounters have been interpreted. Students will engage in historical research on specific topics to develop their own critical perspectives on Christian-Muslim Relations for public engagement. Utilizing film, music, maps, artwork, documents, and travel literature, this course highlights both high and low points between the world’s two largest religions. Special attention is given to the Golden Age of Islam, Medieval Spain, St. Francis, and global demographics of Christians and Muslims.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. explore the origins and major themes in Christian-Muslim relationships;
  2. gain appreciation for the wide variety of contexts between Christians and Muslims;
  3. examine theological issues in the complex Christian-Muslim interactions;
  4. investigate a specific Christian or Muslim interlocutor and the themes of their work;
  5. develop one’s own position on Christian-Muslim relationships for public engagement;
  6. understand the current demographic context of global Christianity and Islam and how it impacts Christian-Muslim relations.

Required Texts

  1. Armour, Sr., Rollin, Islam, Christianity, and the West: A Troubled History. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2002. [978-1570754074]
  2. Menocal, Maria Rosa, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002. [978-0316168717]
  3. Tieszen, Charles, ed. Theological Issues in Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2018. [978-1532610585]

Reference Texts

  1. Johnson, Todd M. and Gina A. Zurlo. World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019.
  2. Thomas, David, ed. Routledge Handbook on Christian-Muslim Relations. London: Routledge, 2018.
  3. Siddiqui, Mona, ed. The Routledge Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations. London: Routledge, 2013.

Apply by January 15th

Accepting applications for Spring 2021 degree programs through December 15, 2020. Applications for individual courses accepted through January 15, 2021.
Detailed Application Dates & Deadlines


The following tuition rates are for new students enrolling (without a declared degree) in one of our online courses.

*Tuition rates for students enrolled in a declared degree program may vary by campus. See tuition & fees for more information.


$ 350

No Additional Student Service Fees

Best for: Personal Enrichment

Participation: Auditors are restricted to non-participating member status in classes. In other words, auditors may not:

  • Participate in class discussion (except as authorized by the instructor according to the terms included in the course syllabus)
  • Submit written work
  • Sit for exams for the purpose of receiving an evaluation.

Credit/Grading: Auditors do not receive graduate credit nor a grade. Your Gordon-Conwell transcripts will note "AU" in place of a grade reflecting that you audited a course.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • No additional materials required.

Special Non-Degree Student

$ 1650

24% Discount off standard tuition; Student service fees apply.

Best for: Students who desire structured feedback or anticipate enrolling in a future degree program.

Participation: Special Non-Degree Students are fully enrolled students expected to participate in all elements of a course as outlined in the course syllabus.

Credit/Grading: Your Gordon-Conwell transcript will reflect a letter grade, and course credit may be applied toward a future degree program. If you are new to graduate-level coursework and nervous about grading, you may elect to take the course for Pass/Fail. Rather than receive a grade, your transcript will only reflect whether or not you received a passing grade. Degree programs allow a limited number of pass/fail courses.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • Undergraduate transcript(s).
  • Reference required if undergradute GPA is under 3.0.

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