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The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peaceby Paul Moses
Synopses & Reviews
An intriguing examination of the extraordinary–and little known meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Islamic leader Sultan Malik Al-Kamil that has strong resonance in today's divided world.
For many of us, St. Francis of Assisi is known as a poor monk and a lover of animals. However, these images are sadly incomplete, because they ignore an equally important and more challenging aspect of his life — his unwavering commitment to seeking peace. In The Saint and the Sultan, Paul Moses recovers Francis' s message of peace through the largely forgotten story of his daring mission to end the crusades.
In 1219, as the Fifth Crusade was being fought, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with Malik al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt. The two talked of war and peace and faith and when Francis returned home, he proposed that his Order of the Friars Minor live peaceably among the followers of Islam–a revolutionary call at a moment when Christendom pinned its hopes for converting Muslims on the battlefield.
The Saint and the Sultan captures the lives of St. Francis and Sultan al-Kamil and illuminates the political intrigue and religious fervor of their time.In the process, itreveals a startlingly timely story of interfaith conflict, war, and the search for peace. More than simply a dramatic adventure, though it does not lack for colorful saints and sinners, loyalty and betrayal, and thrilling Crusade narrative, The Saint and the Sultan brings to life an episode of deep relevance for all who seek to find peace between the West and the Islamic world.
Winner of the 2010 Catholic Press Association Book Award for History
Moses tells the dramatic, intriguing story of the extraordinary, and little-known, meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Islamic leader Sultan Malik al-Kamil--and its significance in today's divided world.
Paul Moses, former Newsday city editor and senior religion writer, is a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He was the lead writer on a Newsday team that won the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Maureen.
Table of Contents
The Damietta region of Egypt — Introduction — Pt. 1. The road to Damietta — Outfitted to kill — Shattered — His new way — The peacemaker — Journeys — A new crusade — The sultan — Pt. 2. The war — The siege — Conspiracy against the sultan — Francis looks east — "Forbidding war" — The saint and the cardinal — The saint and the sultan — "Evil and sin" — The outsider — "Kamil" — Weeping — Pt. 3. Uncovering the story — The story changes — The seed sprouts — Epilogue.
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