This volume offers the first comprehensive study on the history of Middle Western Karaim dialects. The author provides a systematic description of sound changes dating from the 17th–19th-centuries and reconstructs their absolute- and relative chronologies. In addition, the main morphological peculiarities are presented in juxtaposition to Modern Western Karaim data.
The textual basis for this historical-linguistic investigation is a critical edition of pre-1800 Western Karaim interpretations of Hebrew religious songs called
piyyutim (147 texts altogether). The reason behind this choice is that some of these texts are among the oldest known Western Karaim texts in general, and that until now no study has brought the Karaim translation tradition in this genre closer to the reader.
Dionysius Bar Ṣalībī’s
Treatise against the Jews offers rare and illuminating insight into Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations during the Crusader era, not from the perspective of western Crusaders, but from the frequently neglected viewpoint of the oriental orthodox tradition. Bar Ṣalībī, a distinguished hierarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, lived in a turbulent time of heightened tensions in the Levant. The
Treatise against the Jews, which forms part of the corpus of Syriac Polemical Works, investigates the prejudices of Christians and Jews towards each other during the 12 century AD.This edition and translation is based on all the available manuscripts of the text, accompanied by extensive introductions, notes and commentary as well as studies of its place in the field of Syriac Patristic Polemics.
Religious Stories in Transformation: Conflict, Revision and Reception, the editors present a collection of essays that reveal both the many similarities and the poignant differences between ancient myths in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and modern secular culture and how these stories were incorporated and adapted over time. This rich multidisciplinary research demonstrates not only how stories in different religions and cultures are interesting in their own right, but also that the process of transformation in particular deserves scholarly interest. It is through the changes in the stories that the particular identity of each religion comes to the fore most strikingly.
This volume contains a critical edition and an introduction to the Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Proverbs by one of the most acclaimed, innovative, and prolific exegetes of the Karaite “Golden Age” (10th-11th centuries), Yefet ben ‘Eli ha-Levi. Yefet’s commentary on Proverbs attests to his rationalistic and revisionist ideology and to his egalitarian approach. His work is an invaluable link in the history of interpretation of the book of Proverbs. This edition is accompanied by an introduction including a thorough study of Yefet’s style of writing compared with the Arabic model of his time, his hermeneutic devices contrasted with those of Saadiah Gaon and midrash, his theology in light of the doctrines of Islamic Mu‘tazila, and his polemics against various groups.
Acknowledged as a leading medical expert in his day, and secretary to a succession of caliphs in the mid-ninth century, the Nestorian Christian
ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī converted to Islam around the age of 70. He then wrote
Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, a recantation of his former faith, and
Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla, a defence of the Prophet Muḥammad based substantially on biblical proof-texts. The range of arguments he produced against the soundness of his former faith in these two works influenced sections of Islamic scholarship for many centuries.
These new editions and translations of his works are based on all the available evidence for the texts, accompanied by extensive introductions and studies of their place in Islamic thought.