DOI: 10.1177/23969393231164326 ISSN:

Seventh-day Adventist Understandings of Islam and Muslims from the 1840s–1920s

Andrew Tompkins
  • Religious studies

Seventh-day Adventist understandings of Islam can be traced to the Millerite movement and the prophetic prediction that the Muslim Ottoman Empire would fall in 1840. The Seventh-day Adventist movement, which came out of the Millerite movement, would continue to connect Islam and prophecy throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Often the prophetic discussions of Islam utilized demeaning language and racialized terminologies to describe Muslims as anti-Christian forces. There was very little personal interaction between Seventh-day Adventists and Muslims during the nineteenth century. This gradually changed in the twentieth century as more Seventh-day Adventists worked in places with significant Muslim populations. As a result, an alternative way of describing and understanding Islam emerged that was less reliant on prophetic interpretation and took more seriously the lives and beliefs of Muslims. While the general tone towards Islam typically was negative through the 1920s the increase in interaction began to create the possibility for less antagonistic understandings of Muslims.

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