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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.