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Collected Studies on Byzantine-Muslim Encounter
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.
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.
Volume Editors: David Thomas and John A. Chesworth
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 18 (CMR 18), covering the Ottoman Empire in the period 1800-1914, is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and the main body of detailed entries. These treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. They provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous new and leading scholars, CMR 18, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a fundamental tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section editors: Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabé Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Vincenzo Lavenia, Arely Medina, Diego Melo Carrasco, Alain Messaoudi, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Charles Tieszen, Carsten Walbiner, Catherina Wenzel.
Reading the Arabic Bible in the Tafsīrs of Ibn Barraǧān and al-Biqāʿī
In Interpreting the Qurʾān with the Bible, R. Michael McCoy III brings together two lesser known yet accomplished commentators on the Qurʾān and the Bible: the muʿtabir Abū al-Ḥakam ʿAbd al-Salām b. al-Išbīlī (d. 536/1141), referred to as Ibn Barraǧān, and qāriʾ al-qurrāʾ Ibrāhīm b. ʿUmar b. Ḥasan al-Biqāʿī (d. 885/1480). In this comparative study, comprised of manuscript analysis and theological exegesis, a robust hermeneutic emerges that shows how Ibn Barraǧān’s method of naẓm al-qurʾān and al-Biqāʿī’s theory of ʿilm munāsabāt al-qurʾān motivates their reading and interpretation of the Arabic Bible. The similarities in their quranic hermeneutics and approach to the biblical text are astounding as each author crossed established boundaries and pushed the acceptable limits of handling the Bible in their day.
In A Comparative History of Catholic and Aš‘arī Theologies of Truth and Salvation Mohammed Gamal Abdelnour analytically and critically compares the historical development of the Catholic theologies of truth and salvation with those of its Islamic counterpart, Ašʿarism. The monograph moves the discussion from individual theologians to theological schools with a view to helping consolidate the young field of Comparative Theology. It serves two types of readers. First, the specialist who wants to dig deeper into the two traditions parallelly. Second, the generalist who may not have the time to become thoroughly familiar with every aspect of Christian-Muslim theologies. Both readers will come out with a holistic understanding of the development of Christian and Muslim theologies of truth and salvation; a holistic understanding that increases the appetite of the former and quenches that of the latter. Despite the holistic nature of the monograph, attention is duly paid to the specificities of each tradition in a deep and profound manner.


This paper focuses on management of Islam by the French State since the state of emergency declared in 2015. We analyze the legal actions of the State using a law-in-context approach and theorize secularism as the State’s management of religion. We focus on the Senate Report (2016) concerning Muslim worship, the legal changes wrought by the state of emergency, and the institutions formed to govern Islam and secularism. We examine whether there has been a change in the French State’s approach to Muslim worship. Rather than remaining neutral, the French State has become even more actively involved in the field of religion by adopting a reformist attitude intended to transform not the principles of laïcité but the Muslims in France. In this period, the State has taken concrete steps and built institutions both to support the formation of a secularized French Islam and to govern the boundaries of laïcité.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State


This paper draws attention to the neglected episode of a crisis that engulfed the Benin City Roman Catholic Station from 1951 to 1952. It examines how a disagreement between an Irish priest and an African catechist degenerated into a crisis that pitted the majority of the African laity against the Irish clergy. This crisis was not only reported in national newspapers and taken up by nationalist agitators, but also attracted the concern of Roman Catholics outside the diocese as well as the Vatican. This paper contends that the disagreement became a crisis because of the Irish clergy’s upholding of their policy of gradual incorporation of the African laity into participation in the administration of the diocese, and the African laity’s determination to pursue their aspirations of full and unhindered participation in the administration on their own terms. The crisis was also fueled by African nationalist ferment of the period, which prolonged the issue. The argument is supported with archival sources, newspaper reports and oral interviews with participants and members of the diocese.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Journal of Religion in Africa


This paper presents a historical analysis of health care services through African churches in Mbeya Region, Tanzania from the 1980s to the present. In particular, it examines the influence of African churches in healing diseases spiritually. It analyses the changes in health care services in Mbeya Region, and the dominance of African churches in health services. It also shows how health care services are provided, and the successes and challenges related to health care services in African churches. Methodologically, the paper is based on a careful analysis of oral interviews, archival documents and secondary data. It argues that African churches emerged in Mbeya in the 1920s in response to the historical churches that operated in the region from the 1890s. The paper notes that diseases have been a significant factor throughout African history. Controlling disease was an important aspect of change in different historical periods. Unfortunately, historians have rarely paid attention to the involvement of African churches in health care services. This paper covers the strategies used by African churches in health care services, such as preaching on healing methods from the Bible. Through healing services, leaders of African churches are able to transform their own lives, but not all individuals are healed. This paper makes a contribution to the historiography of Africa by identifying the role of African churches in healing systems.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa