Islam and Christianity Searching for Relevance in an Age of Globalised Insecurity

In examining this set of questions, the paper focuses on the role of Christianity and Islam. These two traditions, though far from monolithic, readily suggest themselves by virtue of their global presence, with the world’s Christians numbering some 2.17 billion and Muslims just under 1.6 billion. But considerations of scale aside, Christianity and Islam are central to the current geopolitical landscape, a position they will continue to occupy indefinitely into the future. Christianity and Islam have had a long, complex and at times difficult relationship that has historically oscillated between dialogue and cooperation on the one hand and profound mistrust and hostility on the other. It is a relationship that continues to underpin a number of conflicts in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Africa and Southeast Asia. More recently it has emerged as central to Western Europe’s self-understanding and its social cohesion and political identity.