What does the phrase "ability to redeem its rival religions of the book" mean here?

"[In] 2 October 1586 ... the Welsh minister Meredith Hanmer preached a sermon at St Katharine’s Church next to the Tower of London, entitled The Baptizing of a Turke [Shinano]. This was the first recorded example of a Muslim converting to English Protestantism....While it [the sermon] used Chinano’s conversion as a sign of Protestantism’s growing ability to redeem its rival religions of the book, it left other concerns about religious conversion unanswered. How genuine was Chinano’s baptism, and what could prevent him from reverting? 

1 Answer

  • 1 month ago

    The phrase "people of the book" is in the Qur'an, where Muslims are enjoined to show some respect to Jewish people (who had the Hebrew scriptures) and to Christians (who had the Greek scriptures). Those holy scriptures were viewed as part of the holy writings that God gave to various prophets at various times. They believe, of course, that the writings of the Qur'an are the supreme holy book, superseding all other holy books but, nonetheless, they accorded those who believed in the Bible to be part of "religions of the book". 'Book' in that sense means the holy books (writings) given to mankind by God. See Qur'an sura 10, vs 94 & surah 4, vss 163, 171 & sura 5 vss 14-15, 44-48.

    The book you are quoting from seems to be showing that the newly formed Protestantism was baptizing former Muslims (Turkes) into the Christian faith. Islam views Judaism and Christianity as ‘rival’ religions which is why any Muslim converting to either faith could be imprisoned or put to death for apostasy.

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