Christian attitudes to Islam : a comparative study of the work of S.A. Crowther, E.W. Blyden and W.R.S. Miller in West Africa
The purpose of the study is to compare the attitudes to Islam of Samuel Crowther, Edward Blyden, and Walter Miller in the light of their work in West Africa. Their careers overlapped to some extent. Crowther was active from 1841-1891, Blyden from 1851-1912, Miller from 1897-1952. Each man was involved in missionary activity. For Crowther and Miller this was life-long. In Blyden's case, the break came in 1886, when he resigned as a Presbyterian minister, to become what he called 'a minister of Truth 1 . After this date his career became more controversial. Like the other two, he continued to be interested in the theory and practice of mission among Muslims and in a critical comparison of Christianity and Islam, as religious systems which could secure liberation for Africans from all forms of slavery, whether physical, cultural or spiritual. The study consists of nine chapters which provide a systematic analysis of the central theme. The introductory section discusses purpose, method and scope. Chapter one consists of an analysis of Christian attitudes to Islam, which serves as the basis for a comparison of the attitudes of Crowther, Blyden arid Miller in the final chapter. The second chapter deals with the nineteenth century background to the work of the three men. The following chapters deal, successively, with the life and attitude to Islam of each man. The chapters on attitudes are divided, thematically, in order to discuss the various aspects more systematically. The concluding chapter contains a comparative assessment. Two appendices (concerned vrith Blyden and Miller, respectively), a full list of sources, and a bibliography, complete the study.