Identity Politics in India and Europe combines qualitative methods (20 interviews) with historical and philosophical analysis. The first part of the book discusses the history of perceptions between the Europe of Latin Christianity and the so-called Muslim world, starting from the 7th century onwards. The second part is devoted to a discussion on the emergence of modernity and how it changed the identity politics of earlier times. The third part explores the role that intellectual elites have to play. It comprises interviews of eminent scholars and thinkers in India such as Imtiaz Ahmad and Ashis Nandy. These make for an insightful read, especially as subtle ideological differences surface in their responses to a set of common questions.

Encounter in the Levant: The Crusades

Encounter in the Levant: The Crusades

Encounter in the Levant: The crusades

The Christian conception of holy war had its origin in Augustine's interpretation of Luke 14:23 ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’ (my emphasis), which was taken to justify ‘robust missionary practices’1 among the pagan Germanic and Slavonic tribes. Then the theory evolved as a justification for the ‘pilgrimages in arms’ that were later called ‘crusades’2, and for the reconquista of al-Andalus.

The ground for the crusades was prepared and accompanied by a pictorial propaganda, of sorts, as Claudio Lange suggests in his documentation of anti-Islamic medieval art in southern France, Italy and Spain.3 According to Lange, a veritable ‘artistic media revolution’ took ...

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