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Edited by Barbara Roggema and Alexander Treiger

Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations explores the Arabic translations of the Greek and Syriac Church Fathers, focusing on those produced in the Palestinian monasteries and at Sinai in the 8th–10th centuries and in Antioch during Byzantine rule (969–1084). These Arabic translations preserve patristic texts lost in the original languages. They offer crucial information about the diffusion and influence of patristic heritage among Middle Eastern Christians from the 8th century to the present. A systematic examination of Arabic patristic translations sheds light on the development of Muslim and Jewish theological thought.

Contributors are Aaron Michael Butts, Joe Glynias, Habib Ibrahim, Jonas Karlsson, Sergey Kim, Joshua Mugler, Tamara Pataridze, Alexandre Roberts, Barbara Roggema, Alexander Treiger.

Heirs of the Apostles

Studies on Arabic Christianity in Honor of Sidney H. Griffith

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

Heirs of the Apostles offers a panoramic survey of Arabic-speaking Christians—descendants of the Christian communities established in the Middle East by the apostles—and their history, religion, and culture in the early Islamic and medieval periods. The subjects range from Arabic translations of the Bible, to the status of Christians in the Muslim-governed lands, Muslim-Christian polemic, and Christian-Muslim and Christian-Jewish relations. The volume is offered as a Festschrift to Sidney H. Griffith, the doyen of Christian Arabic Studies in North America, on his eightieth birthday.

Contributors are: David Bertaina, Elie Dannaoui, Stephen Davis, Nathan P. Gibson, Cornelia Horn, Sandra Toenies Keating, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Andrew Platt, Thomas W. Ricks, Barbara Roggema, Harald Suermann, Mark N. Swanson, Shawqi Talia, Jack Tannous, David Thomas, Jennifer Tobkin, Alexander Treiger, Ronny Vollandt, Clare Wilde, and Jason Zaborowski.

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Cornelia B. Horn

Abstract

The structural framework and individual themes of the sermons of Christ to his disciples as they are presented in the Arabic Apocryphal Gospel of John emphasize the need to preserve and restore church structures with a focus on the support of the priestly ministry. They also highlight the relevance of rebuilding and protecting Christian social life that appears to be threatened from many sides. The text avails itself of these apocalyptic and eschatological interests in order to support overriding ecclesiological concerns for the survival, recovery, and ultimately for the transformation of the Christian church that is faced with a day-to-day Islamic reality of life that has both hostile and attractive sides.

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David Bertaina

Abstract

Elias of Nisibis (d. 1046) was a well-known bishop and theologian of the Church of the East who engaged in several discussions with the local vizier Abū al-Qāsim al-Maghribī (d. 1027). This chapter focuses on their interpretation of monotheism in the Qurʾān, and whether it could be applied to Christianity. Granting authority to the Qurʾān and using Islamic commentaries for his arguments, Elias claimed that the Muslim scripture promised Christians were monotheists and would be granted salvation. The text’s significance lies in its demonstration of the flourishing Islamo-Christian engagement found under eleventh-century Marwānid rule, the Christian use of Islamic sources, the accommodation of medieval Islamic interpretive frameworks to Christian readings of the Qurʾān, and the impact of Arabic-speaking Christianity on Islamic civilization.

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

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Jason R. Zaborowski

Abstract

This contribution consists of an Arabic edition and facing English translation of the Copto-Arabic text, The Visions of Anba Shenouda. The article provides the first English translation of the text to be published. This text is noteworthy for expanding the legacy of the pre-Islamic Coptic Abbot Shenoute (ca. AD 348–466) in the Arabic-speaking milieu of Egypt under Islamic rule. The text describes Shenoute miraculously participating in a heavenly mass with biblical personalities (such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Peter), and the text includes a long sermon warning Christians to uphold the fasts and commandments, lest they forfeit heavenly rewards.

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

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Johannes Pahlitzsch

Abstract

While Palestinian monasteries are scarcely mentioned in Byzantine hagiography of the period between the middle of the ninth century and the 960s, the constant reference in the lives and writings of several saints from the 11th and 12th centuries presented here demonstrate that the Holy Land once again became an attractive goal for wandering monks. This new interest is without doubt connected to the Byzantine re-conquest of Northern Syria and the subsequent Byzantinization of the Melkite Church, including its monasteries, and has to be understood as an expression of what the Holy Land and especially the famous monasteries of the Judean desert meant for Orthodox monks in Byzantium in that period of a revival of monasticism in Byzantium.