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This class will take you on a fascinating deep dive into the origins of Islam. Explore the early years of Islam and the major Medieval Caliphates. Discover how the rivalry between the Ottoman and Safavid empires resulted in the Sunni-Shi’ite struggle that we see today. This series of classes is essential for understanding how modern Islam came to be and its place in the world in the context of recent history..


  • The earliest years of Islam
  • The historical development of Jihad
  • The story division between Islam’s Shiite minority and the Sunni majority
  • The complex origins of Islam and its evolution into modernity
John A. Cuddeback


Brendan J. McGuire † (requiescat in pace) served as Associate Professor of History at Christendom College from 2007-2020. A beloved professor, he specialized in the study of religion in the medieval Mediterranean. McGuire received his doctorate in Medieval History from Saint Louis University, where he studied Islam under renowned scholar Hayrettin Yucesoy. His publications, both scholarly and popular, focused on relationships among Western, Byzantine, and Islamic leaders during the era of the crusades. Read more about Dr. McGuire and the great impact that he had on the lives of his students and the Christendom College community here.



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