In the last decade, the history of Muslims in America has come into its own and A History of Islam in America provides one of the most comprehensive and even-handed treatments of the subject. Many previous studies breezily pit “Islam” against the “West.”
There exists a fault line near the tenth parallel north of the equator where the two great proselytizing religions of the last two millennia meet.In centuries past, desert traders and merchant seamen carried Islam along with their goods, halting only where they confronted unsurpassable natural barriers or the expansion of European Christianity in the colonized regions of Asia and Africa.
“WWJD?” A student of mine told me in the early 1990’s that in her school the interrogating initials meant “Who Wants Jack Daniels?” Of course, most Americans today know that they mean “What Would Jesus Do?” The question has been ubiquitous in American popular culture for three decades. But few know that it was first asked in a novel. And even fewer know that the author’s working drafts of that novel can be seen today in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Voices of Morebath chronicles the coming of the English Reformation to a small village in sixteenth-century Devonshire. Duffy tells the story of Morebath through the eyes of its boisterous vicar, Sir Christopher Trychay, who kept exceptionally detailed records during his fifty-four year career in the village.