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1530–1670: A Race Between Islam And Christianity?

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Chapter Summary

There is little doubt that the Schrieke theory of the race between Islam and Christianity is one of the most hotly debated theories concerning the spread of Islam and Christianity in the Malay-Indonesian archipelago. Reflecting on the history of Islamisation in the archipelago, the Schrieke theory has a lot of truth, though as Meilink-Roelofsz reminds us, the crusading motive on the part of the Portuguese must not be overemphasised. The predominant Muslim position in the international trade was also represented by Muslim outposts along the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. With the arrival of the Portuguese in India in 1498, as Schrieke points out, the two opposing parties, Christians and Muslims, stood poised for head-on collision. The Portuguese came initially to Ambon, then to Ternate, and later to the island of Tidore.

Keywords: Christianity; India; international trade; Islam; Malay-Indonesian archipelago; Portuguese; Schrieke theory; Ternate; Tidore



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