Between Latin Theology and Arabic Kalām: Samson’s Apologeticus contra perfidos (864 CE) and Ḥafṣ b. Albar al-Qūṭī’s Extant Works (fl. Late Ninth/Early Tenth Centuries)

In: Medieval Encounters


The Latin authors of ninth-century Umayyad Córdoba Eulogius, Albarus, and Samson are known for their opposition to acculturation, Arabic learning, and, in the case of Eulogius and Albarus, their defense of the martyrs’ movement of the 850s. One generation later, the first known Christian-Arabic theologian of Hispanic origin appears, Ḥafṣ b. Albar. His adoption of Islamized Arabic has traditionally represented an ideological break from the previous generation of Christian intellectuals in Córdoba. This article questions this discontinuity through analysis of Samson’s Apologeticus contra perfidos (864 CE) and Ḥafṣ’s extant work. The article argues that the Apologeticus engages kalām and proves relevant for its Islamic context. Further, the article argues that Ḥafṣ’s work continues the project laid out by Samson, though with a more polemical eye towards Islam.