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Collected Studies on Byzantine-Muslim Encounters
Author: Daniel J. Sahas
Arabs and the Middle East were among the first to embrace Christianity, leaving their print on its culture. Thus Byzantium, by geography and culture, encountered Islam at its birth. No wonder that many saw and treated Islam as a contemporary Christian “heresy” – whatever the word may connote. Radical events fill the history of Byzantium (330-1453) encountering the world of Islam: conquests, wars, cultural and diplomatic relations, manifestations of mutual admiration – and exclusion! Their story makes for a fascinating branch of either Byzantine or Islamic studies; the literature about each other forming a distinguished section in either field.
This collection of studies is a sample of Byzantine perspectives of Islam offering, hopefully, expressions and solutions rather than creating impressions or illusions.
Sayyid Ahmad Khan's (1817-1898) Muslim Exegesis of the Bible
Set in British India soon after the Uprising of 1857, God’s Word, Spoken and Otherwise explores the controversial and ingenious ideas of one of South Asia’s most influential public thinkers, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898). Bringing to light previously unpublished material from his exegetical commentaries on the Bible and Qur’an, this study explores the interplay of natural and prophetic revelation from an intertextual perspective. The book provides fresh insight into Sir Sayyid’s life and work, and underscores both the originality of his ideas, and also their continuity within a dynamic Muslim intellectual tradition.
Political Theologies in Polarized Times
Volume Editors: Ulrich Schmiedel and Joshua Ralston
Populism is a buzzword. This compilation explores the significance of religion for the controversies stirred up by populist politics in European and American contexts in order to understand what lies behind the buzz. Engaging Jewish, Christian, and Islamic political thought and theology, contributions by more than twenty established and emerging scholars explore right-wing and left-wing protests, offering critical interpretations and creative interventions for a polarized public square. Both methodologically and thematically, the compilation moves beyond essentialist definitions of religion, encouraging a comparative approach to political theology today.
Volume Editors: Marzena Zawanowska and Mateusz Wilk
King David if one of the most central figures in all of the major monotheistic traditions. He generally connotes the heroic past of the (more imagined than real) ancient Israelite empire and is associated with messianic hopes for the future. Nevertheless, his richly ambivalent and fascinating literary portrayal in the Hebrew Bible is one of the most complex of all biblical characters.
This volume aims at taking a new, critical look at the process of biblical creation and subsequent exegetical transformation of the character of David and his attributed literary composition (the Psalms), with particular emphasis put on the multilateral fertilization and cross-cultural interchanges among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Abstract

The article uses the story of David and Jonathan to examine how medieval Christian and Jewish traditions treated friendship between men in relation to marriage. It demonstrates that David and Jonathan friendship was most often invoked in the Christian Central Middle Ages in a monastic context, while in the Jewish tradition male friendship often occurred in commentaries on Pirqe Avot, where it was understood either as companionship in Torah study, or as a spiritual relationship. This second kind of friendship is contrasted with heterosexual love, despite that in both traditions the line between friendship and love is not sharp.

In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Author: Yair Zoran

Abstract

The article explores Yefet ben ʿEli’s treatment of David’s testament to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28 which relates to the building of the Temple, demonstrating the exegete’s literary sensibilities, as well as his ingenuity and originality in the artful way in which he combines different biblical passages and weaves them together into a unified literary structure that sheds a new light on the interpreted text.

In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Author: Barbara Gryczan

Abstract

The paper provides a detailed analysis of an autobiographical poem, composed by Shmuel ha-Nagid as a commemoration of his victory in battle over the troops attacking the foregrounds of Granada. It explores the process of artistic auto-creation, unravelling the complex matrix of biblical intertexts and historical allusions as well as artistic devices and poetical mechanisms introduced by the poet in order to portray himself not only as a righteous leader of the nation and a direct heir of the Levites, but also a divinely inspired poet, an anointed “singer of God,” and “the David of his age.”

Open Access
In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Abstract

The article explores the complex relationship between the biblical and extra-biblical evidence for David, discussing inter alia the etymology of the name David, the reliability of extra-biblical testimonies (inscriptions) to the House of David, as well as historical context and circumstances in which the biblical character was supposedly active. It conjectures that, assuming the historicity of this figure, David might have been a local leader of a small, Habiru-like group active in the tenth century BCE in the Southern territories dominated by the Tribe of Benjamin and politically controlled by the Philistines from the City of Gath.

Open Access
In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Abstract

The article investigates the way in which the character of David was used in Judah Halevi’s Book of the Kuzari. It demonstrates how the author used David’s idealized image as an instrument to convey and underscore what he considered the chief values and most important legacy of Judaism. It argues that the figure of David served Halevi as a vehicle to transmit a constructive critique of his present day Jewry, aimed at healing or repairing and improving the entire Jewish nation – in terms of Rabbanites and Karaites alike – and bringing about their re-unification, thereby restoring Judaism to its former glory.

Open Access
In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Author: Zsuzsanna Olach

Abstract

The paper focuses on the emergence of Eastern European Karaite Bible translations, including translations of Psalms, both in old Hebrew script and in new orthographies. It argues that the significance of Psalms among the Eastern European Karaites goes far beyond the liturgical context, demonstrating that individual Psalms have been adapted into hymns and religious poems by Karaim poets, while singular verses and stanzas from the Psalms were profusely quoted in their poetical compositions. It discusses various adaptations of individual psalms into poems offered by Karaim poets, exploring the use of the Book of Psalms in Eastern European Karaite literature.

In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam