Item description for Christian Arabic Apologetics During the Abbasid Period (Studies in the History of Religions) by Samir Khalil Samir & Jorgen Nielsen...
During the first six-seven centuries of the Islamic era there was a very lively exchange between Christian and Islamic thinking. It was a period when Christian theologians of various denominations had to find ways of expressing their traditional ideas in Arabic. In the process their thinking developed. The papers in this volume represent the wide range of this field, including detailed studies of such key writers as Ab? R?'itah, Ya?y? b. 'Ad? and Theodore Ab? Q?rrah, as well as probably the earliest, anonymous, Christian apology in Arabic. The Islamic context in which such writers worked is also dealt with, as is the wider geographical spread of Christian Arabic thought extending to Islamic Spain.
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Samir Khalil Samir sj, teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, and the University of St. Joseph, Beirut. He has written extensively in the field of Arabic Christianity and co-edits the series "Patrimoine Arabe Chretien." Jorgen S. Nielsen, has published in the fields of Islamic history and contemporary Christian-Muslim relations. He is Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, UK."
Reviews - What do customers think about Christian Arabic Apologetics During the Abbasid Period (Studies in the History of Religions)?
a collection to be noted in the library Oct 13, 2003
A useful and rather technical discussion of the early Arabic Christian encounter with Islam. The book description already given covers the bases, but it should be noted that this is not useful for someone who is neither a polyglot nor an advanced reader in this area of study.
Other useful books in this regard are Cragg's "Muhammad and the Christian", "Paths to the Heart" edited by Cutsinger is very useful if you have an interest in Sufism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Bell's "The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment", Daniel Sahas' "John of Damascus on Islam: The Heresy of the Ishmaelites", and Stockle's "The Doctrine of Islam and Christian Belief".
I also enjoyed "The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian's Perspective in Islam and Christianity" by Chawkat Moucarry.
One little observation is that many books of this sort approach Islam from the Protestant theological tradition. In many ways this seems to be useful since the majority of Protestants and all true Muslims hold a "Quranic" notion of the Book. That is, it is literal and intact as given. In Christian terms, this means that functionally most Protestants have zero conception of how the New Testament was formed from the liturgical heart of the Church, and not vice versa. So in this way the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (bible alone) has a false bond with Islam on a textual level. It should be noted, however, that when speaking with Moslems it needs to be remembered that their equivalent to Jesus Christ incarnate of Mary as God is not Muhammad, but the Qur'ân. We have an incarnated God, they have an "inscripturated" God. That said, the Moucarry book is quite useful as well.