Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wikipedia: Protestantism and Islam

"Rather Turkish than Pope"
Protestantism and Islam entered into contact during the 16th century, at a time when Reformed (or Calvinist) Protestants in present-day Hungary and Transylvania coincided with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. As both were in conflict with the Austrian Holy Roman Emperor and his Catholic allies, numerous exchanges occurred, exploring religious similarities and the possibility of trade and military alliances.

As Protestantism is divided into a few distinguishable branches and multiple denominations within the former, it is hard to determine the relations specifically. Many of these denominations can have a different approachment to this matter. Islam is divided as well into various denominations. This article focuses on Protestant-Muslim relations, but should be taken with caution.

Relations became more conflictual in the early modern and modern periods, although recent attempts have been made at rapprochement. In terms of comparative religion, there also interesting similarities (especially with Sunni Muslims, while Catholics are often noted for similarities with Shi'ites), as well as differences, in both religious approaches.

Following the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmet II and the unification of the Middle East under Selim I, Suleiman the Magnificent, the son of Selim, managed to expand Ottoman rule to the Balkans. The Habsburg Empire thus entered into direct conflict with the Ottomans.

At the same time the Protestant Reformation was taking place in numerous areas of northern and central Europe, in harsh opposition to Papal authority and the Holy Roman Empire led by Emperor Charles V. This situation led the Protestants to consider various forms of cooperation and rapprochement (religious, commercial, military) with the Muslim world, in opposition to their common Habsburg enemy.  (more...)

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