envisioning islam syriac christians and the early muslim world

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When Christians First Met Muslims

Author : Michael Philip Penn
ISBN : 9780520960572
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 48 MB
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The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present, Syriac Christians wrote the first and most extensive accounts of Islam, describing a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic. Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions between what eventually became the world’s two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.

Envisioning Islam

Author : Michael Philip Penn
ISBN : 9780812247220
Genre : History
File Size : 36. 74 MB
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The first Christians to encounter Islam were not Latin-speakers from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speakers from Constantinople but Mesopotamian Christians who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Under Muslim rule from the seventh century onward, Syriac Christians wrote the most extensive descriptions extant of early Islam. Seldom translated and often omitted from modern historical reconstructions, this vast body of texts reveals a complicated and evolving range of religious and cultural exchanges that took place from the seventh to the ninth century. The first book-length analysis of these earliest encounters, Envisioning Islam highlights the ways these neglected texts challenge the modern scholarly narrative of early Muslim conquests, rulers, and religious practice. Examining Syriac sources including letters, theological tracts, scientific treatises, and histories, Michael Philip Penn reveals a culture of substantial interreligious interaction in which the categorical boundaries between Christianity and Islam were more ambiguous than distinct. The diversity of ancient Syriac images of Islam, he demonstrates, revolutionizes our understanding of the early Islamic world and challenges widespread cultural assumptions about the history of exclusively hostile Christian-Muslim relations.

Seeing Islam As Others Saw It A Survey And Evaluation Of Christian Jewish And Zoroastrian Writings On Early Islam

Author : Robert G. Hoyland
ISBN : 9781618131317
Genre : History
File Size : 52. 66 MB
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This book offers a new approach to the vexing question of how to write the early history of Islam. The first part discusses the nature of the Muslim and non-Muslim source material for the seventh- and eighth-century Middle East and argues that by lessening the divide between these two traditions, which has largely been erected by modern scholarship, we can come to a better appreciation of this crucial period. The second part gives a detailed survey of sources and an analysis of some 120 non-Muslim texts, all of which provide information about the first century and a half of Islam (roughly A.D. 620-780). The third part furnishes examples, according to the approach suggested in the first part and with the material presented in the second part, how one might write the history of this time. The fourth part takes the form of excurses on various topics, such as the process of Islamization, the phenomenon of conversion to Islam, the development of techniques for determining the direction of prayer, and the conquest of Egypt. Because this work views Islamic history with the aid of non-Muslim texts and assesses the latter in the light of Muslim writings, it will be essential reading for historians of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism--indeed, for all those with an interest in cultures of the eastern Mediterranean in its traditional phase from Late Antiquity to medieval times.

Tolerance And Coercion In Islam

Author : Yohanan Friedmann
ISBN : 1139440799
Genre : History
File Size : 38. 93 MB
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Since the beginning of its history, Islam has encountered other religious communities both in Arabia and in the territories conquered during its expansion. Muslims faced other religions from the position of a ruling power and were therefore able to determine the nature of that relationship in accordance with their world-view and beliefs. Yohanan Friedmann's original and erudite study examines questions of religious tolerance as they appear in the Qur'an and in the prophetic tradition, and analyses the principle that Islam is exalted above all religions, discussing the ways in which this principle was reflected in various legal pronouncements. The book also considers the various interpretations of the Qur'anic verse according to which 'No compulsion is there in religion ...', noting that, despite the apparent meaning of this verse, Islamic law allowed the practice of religious coercion against Manichaeans and Arab idolaters, as well as against women and children in certain circumstances.

The Death Of A Prophet

Author : Stephen J. Shoemaker
ISBN : 9780812205138
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 23. 31 MB
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The oldest Islamic biography of Muhammad, written in the mid-eighth century, relates that the prophet died at Medina in 632, while earlier and more numerous Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, and even Islamic sources indicate that Muhammad survived to lead the conquest of Palestine, beginning in 634-35. Although this discrepancy has been known for several decades, Stephen J. Shoemaker here writes the first systematic study of the various traditions. Using methods and perspectives borrowed from biblical studies, Shoemaker concludes that these reports of Muhammad's leadership during the Palestinian invasion likely preserve an early Islamic tradition that was later revised to meet the needs of a changing Islamic self-identity. Muhammad and his followers appear to have expected the world to end in the immediate future, perhaps even in their own lifetimes, Shoemaker contends. When the eschatological Hour failed to arrive on schedule and continued to be deferred to an ever more distant point, the meaning of Muhammad's message and the faith that he established needed to be fundamentally rethought by his early followers. The larger purpose of The Death of a Prophet exceeds the mere possibility of adjusting the date of Muhammad's death by a few years; far more important to Shoemaker are questions about the manner in which Islamic origins should be studied. The difference in the early sources affords an important opening through which to explore the nature of primitive Islam more broadly. Arguing for greater methodological unity between the study of Christian and Islamic origins, Shoemaker emphasizes the potential value of non-Islamic sources for reconstructing the history of formative Islam.

The Oxford Handbook Of Late Antiquity

Author : Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
ISBN : 9780199996339
Genre : History
File Size : 90. 69 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.

Witnesses To A World Crisis

Author : James Howard-Johnston
ISBN : 9780199208593
Genre : History
File Size : 59. 29 MB
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The first history of the formative phase of Islam to be grounded in important non-Islamic as well as Islamic sources, this book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand Islam as a religion and political force, the modern Middle East, and the jihadist impulse, as evident today as it was in the 7th century.

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