The volume contains critical editions of the extant parts of two hitherto unknown theological works by the
Būyid vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/925), who is well known to have vigorously promoted the teaching of
Muʿtazilī theology throughout
Būyid territories and beyond. The manuscripts on which the edition is based come from Cairo Geniza store rooms. They consist of two manuscripts for each of the two texts—testimony to the impact of al-Ṣāḥib’s education policy on the contemporaneous Jewish community in Cairo. The longer treatise of al-Ṣāḥib of ca. 350/960, possibly his
Kitāb Nahj al-sabīl fī uṣūl al-dīn, appears to be the earliest
Muʿtazilī work preserved among the Jewish community. The second, briefer treatise also contains a commentary by ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadānī (d. 415/1025).
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.
Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God examines the writings of three of the earliest known Christian theologians to write comprehensive theological works in Arabic. Theodore Abū Qurra, Abū Rā’iṭa and ‘Ammār al-Baṣrī provide valuable insight into early Christian-Muslim debate shortly after the rise of the Islamic empire.
Through close examination of their writings on the doctrine of the Trinity,
Sara Husseini demonstrates the creativity of these theologians, who make use of language, style and argumentation characteristic of Islamic theological thought (kalām), in order to help articulate their long-established religious truths. Husseini offers close analysis of the authors individually and comparatively, exploring their engagement with Islamic theology and their role in this fascinating period.
Lebanon is a significant region of encounter between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East. This book examines how Christian-Muslim dialogue is envisioned by four present-day Lebanese thinkers: Great Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah and Doctor Mahmoud Ayoub from the Shiite tradition, and Metropolitan Georges Khodr and Doctor, Father Mouchir Basile Aoun from the Eastern Christian Antiochian tradition.
The study seeks to bring the four thinkers into dialogue on a number of topics, including doctrinal themes, ethical principles and the issue of political power-sharing in Lebanon. All four thinkers make several suggestions for facilitating mutual understanding and transcending old debates. The concept of God and the principle of neighbourly love seem to have particular potential as fruitful bases for further dialogue.