By now, much of the world knows about the uproar caused by Pope Benedict XVI’s September lecture at the University of Regensburg in his native Bavaria. In his lectio magistralis Benedict quoted a text of the fourteenth-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, which asserted that the advent of Mohammed had brought “things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Calling the emperor “...
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Peter C. Phan, a Vietnamese American, holds the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. He has written or edited more than twenty books and three hundred essays. His latest work includes a trilogy: Christianity with an Asian Face, In Our Own Tongues, and Being Religious Interreligiously (Orbis Books). This essay has been funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.