In Augustine’s Cyprian Matthew Gaumer retraces how Augustine of Hippo devised the ultimate strategy to suppress Donatist Christianity, an indigenous form of the religion in ancient North Africa. Spanning nearly forty years, Augustine’s entire clerical career was spent combating the Donatists and seeking the dominance of the Catholic Church in North Africa. Through a variety of approaches Augustine evolved a method to successfully outlaw and deconstruct the Donatist Church’s organisation. This hinged on concerted preaching, tract writing, integrating Roman imperial authorities, and critically: by denying the Donatists’ exclusive claim to Cyprian of Carthage. Re-appropriation of Cyprian’s authority required Augustine and his allies to re-write history and pose positions contrary to Cyprian’s. In the end, Cyprian was the Donatists’ no longer.
Six kalām texts by ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī
Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Abdulrahman Al-Salimi
Early Ibāḍī Theology presents the critical edition of six Arabic theological texts recently discovered in two manuscripts in Mzāb in Algeria dating from the middle of the 8th century. The texts were sent by their author, the prominent Kūfan Ibāḍī kalām theologian ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī to North Africa where he had a large following in the Ibāḍī community later known as the Nukkār. They constitute the earliest extant body of Muslim kalām theology and are vital for the study of the initial development of rational theology in Islam. The sophisticated treatment of the divine attributes in these texts indicates that this subject developed considerably earlier in Islamic theology than previously accepted in modern scholarship.