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A sourcebook of major Arabic Christian theologians and texts from the 9th-11th centuries. Christian authors who spoke and wrote Arabic had no choice but to engage with Islam and the complex realities of life—initially as a majority, later as a minority—under Muslim rule. They had to express their theology in new ways, polemicize against the claims of a new religion, as well as defend their doctrines against Islam’s challenges.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4447-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Aug 9,2022
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 534
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4447-7
$55.00

The study of medieval Christian Arabic texts interacting with Islam is a steadily growing scholarly field. Numerous unedited Christian Arabic texts, covering a variety of fascinating topics, await deeper analysis and study. How did early Arabic-speaking Christians respond to the Islamic claims against the Bible, the Trinity, and the incarnation? How did these Christians view Islam, Muḥammad, and the Qur’ān? How did these theologians employ Arabic to defend their faith and its tenets? To what extent were Christians able to advance the Christian belief of a Triune God in opposition to the Islamic view of strict monotheism? Can today’s Church, particularly in the West, benefit in any way from the earliest arguments articulated, developed, and advanced by these medieval Arabic-speaking Christians? These questions, and many more, are at the heart of this important volume.

This volume examines nine key medieval Arabic-speaking Christian figures. It discusses their responses to Islamic criticisms, aiming to provide interested students—both undergraduate and graduate—with an accessible resource that includes historical background for each figure, major arguments they posed, and partial translations of their works. This volume is decidedly easy to read. It aims to provide an entry point for students interested in the history of Christian-Muslim encounters and in Middle Eastern Christianity more generally. Our hope is that the reading of this book will make some of the most important voices of medieval Arabic-speaking Christianity—and their contributions to the Christian-Muslim theological encounter—more easily and widely accessible in the English-speaking university context.

ENDORSEMENTS

A welcome contribution to a rapidly growing field of Arabic Christian Studies, the present volume creates a cultural bridge which rearticulates the legacy of Arabic Christianity in English for the twenty-first century. This formidable task has been accomplished with skill and precision. For this, the readers of this volume will have every reason to be grateful.

--Alexander Treiger, Professor of Religious Studies, Dalhousie University

The study of medieval Christian Arabic texts interacting with Islam is a steadily growing scholarly field. Numerous unedited Christian Arabic texts, covering a variety of fascinating topics, await deeper analysis and study. How did early Arabic-speaking Christians respond to the Islamic claims against the Bible, the Trinity, and the incarnation? How did these Christians view Islam, Muḥammad, and the Qur’ān? How did these theologians employ Arabic to defend their faith and its tenets? To what extent were Christians able to advance the Christian belief of a Triune God in opposition to the Islamic view of strict monotheism? Can today’s Church, particularly in the West, benefit in any way from the earliest arguments articulated, developed, and advanced by these medieval Arabic-speaking Christians? These questions, and many more, are at the heart of this important volume.

This volume examines nine key medieval Arabic-speaking Christian figures. It discusses their responses to Islamic criticisms, aiming to provide interested students—both undergraduate and graduate—with an accessible resource that includes historical background for each figure, major arguments they posed, and partial translations of their works. This volume is decidedly easy to read. It aims to provide an entry point for students interested in the history of Christian-Muslim encounters and in Middle Eastern Christianity more generally. Our hope is that the reading of this book will make some of the most important voices of medieval Arabic-speaking Christianity—and their contributions to the Christian-Muslim theological encounter—more easily and widely accessible in the English-speaking university context.

ENDORSEMENTS

A welcome contribution to a rapidly growing field of Arabic Christian Studies, the present volume creates a cultural bridge which rearticulates the legacy of Arabic Christianity in English for the twenty-first century. This formidable task has been accomplished with skill and precision. For this, the readers of this volume will have every reason to be grateful.

--Alexander Treiger, Professor of Religious Studies, Dalhousie University

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ContributorBiography

Ayman Ibrahim

Ayman Ibrahim (PhD 2014, Fuller Seminary; PhD 2018, Haifa University) is Bill and Connie Jenkins Professor of Islamic Studies and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He authored Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 2021); Basics of Arabic (Zondervan 2021); A Concise Guide to the Quran (Baker Academic, 2020); The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion(Peter Lang, 2018).

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a research associate at London School of Theology who has published widely on Christian-Muslim relations both in the early era of Muslim rule and in recent times. His Open University PhD was published in 2005 as Christology in Dialogue with Muslims: A Critical Analysis of Christian Presentations of Christ for Muslims from the Ninth and Twentieth Centuries. In 2018 he edited Arab Christians and the Qurʾan from the Origins of Islam to the Medieval Period. In 2021 he published The Theology of ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī: Commending Christianity within Islamic Culture, which is a companion study to the translation of ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī's two works.

David Bertaina

David Bertaina (PhD 2007, The Catholic University of America) is Professor of History at the University of Illinois Springfield. He publishes on the history of Christian-Muslim encounters and the relationship of the Bible and Qur’ān, including Būluṣ ibn Rajā’: The Fatimid Egyptian Convert Who Shaped Christian Views of Islam (Brill, 2022).

Clint Hackenburg

Clint Hackenburg (PhD 2015, Ohio State University) is an independent scholar of medieval Arabic literature, Islamic studies, Christian-Muslim relations, and Arabic-to-English translation. He co-translated In Search of the True Religion (Gorgias, 2022) and is currently preparing a new edition and translation of Anselm Turmeda’s Tuḥfat al-adīb fī al-radd ᶜalā ahl al-ṣalīb.

Sandra Toenies Keating

Sandra Toenies Keating (PhD 2001, Catholic University of America) is professor of theology, Providence College, RI. She teaches and publishes in the area of comparative religion with an emphasis on Catholic-Muslim Relations, particularly theological exchange in the early medieval period. She is the author of Defending the “People of Truth” in the Early Islamic Period (Brill, 2006).

Michael Kuhn

Michaekl F. Kuhn’s research interests include the Trinity and Christology in Muslim-Christian relations. His work focuses on the Arab-speaking Christians who engaged with Islam within the boundaries of the Muslim community. He teaches as an adjunct faculty member at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (Beirut, Lebanon), Evangelical Theological Seminary (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Fuller Theological Seminary and Wesley Biblical Seminary. He works with the International Theological Education Network.

John Lamoreaux

John C. Lamoreaux is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at Southern Methodist University. His research focuses on early Islam, Islamic law, Christian minorities living under Islam, and Arabic and Syriac Christian texts. He is the author of Theodore Abū Qurrah (Brigham Young University Press, 2005).

Mourad Takawi

Mourad Takawi (PhD 2019, Notre Dame University) is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. His research and publications focus on the Qur’ān and its reception in the formative and classical Islamic period(s), Arabic Christian literature, and Christian-Muslim encounters. His current book project is titled, The Qur’ān as a Classic (De Gruyter).

Jack Tannous

Jack Tannous is an Associate Professor of History and Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.

Alexander Treiger

Alexander Treiger (PhD 2008, Yale University) is Professor of Religious Studies at Dalhousie University. He is editor of the series “Arabic Christianity: Texts and Studies” (Brill) and coeditor of The Orthodox Church in the Arab World (2014), Heirs of the Apostles: Studies on Arabic Christianity in Honor of Sidney H. Griffith (2019), and Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations (2020).

Mina Yousef

Born and raised in Egypt, Mina Yousef is currently pursuing his PhD in Islamic Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Master of Arts in Muslim Studies (Columbia International University). He taught at Alexandria School of Theology in Egypt and currently works as the Director of Middle Eastern Projects at Thirdmill Ministries in Florida.

Table of Contents (v)
Acknowledgments (vii)
Preface (ix) - Alexander Treiger
Why a Volume on Medieval Christian Arabic Texts? (xiii) - Ayman S. Ibrahim
Glossary of Key Terms (xxvii)
Contributors (xxxv)
Chapter 1. Arabic as Christian Language and Arabic as the Language of Christians (1) - Jack B. Tannous
Chapter 2. Theodore Abū Qurrah (d. ca. 825): Natural Religion and Islam (95) - John C. Lamoreaux
Chapter 3. ʿAbd al-Masīḥ al-Kindī (d. ca. 830): An Arab Exposition of the Christian Faith (133) - Mourad Takawi
Chapter 4. ʿAbd al-Masīḥ al-Kindī (d. ca. 830): On the Path of God and Discerning the True Religion (165) - Mourad Takawi
Chapter 5. Abū Rā’iṭa al-Takrītī (d. ca. 835): A Defender of
the “People of Truth” Against Islam (201) - Sandra T. Keating
Chapter 6. ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī (d. ca. 850): An Early Systematic Theologian in the Islamic Context (233) - Mark Beaumont
Chapter 7. ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī (d. ca. 850): Defending the Incarnation of the Son of God (271) - Mark Beaumont
Chapter 8. Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (d. after 987): A Coptic Apologist, Defending Christianity in Arabic (309) - Mina Yousef
Chapter 9. Abū ʿAlī ʿĪsā ibn Isḥāq ibn Zurʿa (d. 1008): A Philosopher, Apologist, and Translator in the Islamic Milieu (349) - Clint Hackenburg
Chapter 10. Būluṣ ibn Rajā’ (d. after 1012): An Egyptian Muslim Convert to Christianity Assesses Islam (389) - David Bertaina
Chapter 11. Abū al-Faraj Ibn al-Ṭayyib (d. 1043): A Scholar-Priest Explains the Trinitarian Persons (415) - Michael F. Kuhn
Chapter 12. Elias of Nisibis (d. 1046): A Wise Bishop
Encounters an Inquisitive Prime Minister (453) - Michael F. Kuhn

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