“Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle Ages sought and pondered peace in profound and interesting ways that can offer valuable insight to people today. ”
My book, tentatively entitled Learning About Peace from the Middle Ages: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Insights, is under contract with Paulist Press. The core question is “How did members of these three faiths approach peace in the Middle Ages?” Many members of the church in North America believe that religion has been a prime driver of war and other conflict and that the Middle Ages were a particularly brutal era. Some parts of the church actively enlist religious language in support of their contemporary violent agendas. Christians are generally unaware of the varied notions of peace that have germinated in the Christian tradition, let alone the Jewish or Muslim faiths. My book will provide a needed corrective to the conventional association between religion and violence in the Middle Ages. It will also promote interest in and appreciation for Judaism and Islam among Christian readers by juxtaposing approaches within Christian societies with those of the other two traditions to reveal similarities and intriguing differences. Letting others explore the legal technicalities in medieval peacemaking, I focus instead on how peace was discussed, dreamed about, ritualized, consciously created in gardens, and explored in folktales and commentaries.