Two civilisations entwined in history: “Certainly, if a monk from sixth-century Byzantium were to come back today, he would find much more that was familiar in the practices and beliefs of a modern Muslim Sufi than in, say, a contemporary American evangelical. Yet this simple truth has been lost by our tendency to think of Christianity as thoroughly Western, rather than the Oriental faith it actually is. We also forget that Islam inherited the same Greek and Roman foundations as our own culture; indeed the Muslims preserved the classics for us, before passing them back via the universities of Islamic Spain and Sicily.”