The rapid and energetic resurgence of the Islamic religion and the expanded international role played by Islamic nations and political movements provided the impetus for a collaborative examination by scholars of religion and culture intent on bridging the gap of knowledge and understanding between the study of the West and the study of Islam. This book, together with its companion volume, Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic TraditionS≪/i> (Greenwood Press, forthcoming 1991), examines the topics of the relationship between Western and Islamic religious and cultural traditions on war, peace, and the conduct of statecraft. The ten essays contained here provide scholarly analyses and interpretations of Islamic traditions and of areas of relationship and commonality between these traditions and those of the West. The difficulties inherent in such analysis are compounded by the lack of correspondence between the two religious and cultural traditions, particularly those concerned with defining when war is justified and what limits ought to be observed in justified warfare.
The volume is divided into three parts: When is War Justified? What are Its Limits?, Irregular Warfare and Terrorism, and Combatancy, Noncombatancy, and Noncombatant Immunity. Within each of these perspectives two groups of scholars, one whose field of work is the just war tradition of Western culture and one whose area of study is Islamic religion and culture, examine issues that relate to the justification and limitation of war. The first four essays assess justifications for war and restraints on its conduct, including a discussion of the concept of jihad. Two additional groups of essays address specific questions that are especially pressing in the current historical context. The nine chapters range broadly over the historical development of the two traditions, seeking individually and collectively to open up the unfamiliar and to bring elements of the two traditions to bear on contemporary moral problems of armed violence and war. For students of Western and Islamic religion and culture, the volume provides a beginning for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue as well as for intensive and systematic study. Scholars of both Western and Islamic traditions will find their understandings of the tradition of jihad and the constellation of ideas and attitudes on war, peace, and politics that are normative in Islamic religion enhanced by Cross, Crescent and Sword, which also provides a means to assess how these ideas and attitudes should be placed in relationship to those of Western culture. [via]