Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sidney Griffith on "The Qur'an, Christology, and Arab Orthodoxy"

I just noticed that an excellent recent article by Fr Sidney Griffith on early Arab Orthodox theology and relations with Islam can be downloaded as a pdf here.

The Melkites and the Muslims: The Qur’ān, Christology, and Arab Orthodoxy

ABSTRACT: The earliest Chalcedonian writers to take notice of the religious ideas of the invading Arabs at the time of the Islamic conquest of the Middle East already highlighted what they viewed as wrong or confused notions about Christ on the part of the invaders. Then in the mid-eighth century, Arabic-speaking Chalcedonians in Syria/Palestine, whose adversaries would soon be calling them ‘Melkites’, were quoting the Qur’ān with a view to exploiting the probative potential of its language for apologetic purposes, especially in Christology. This article traces the continued focus on Christology and the Qur’ān in the development of Chalcedonian theology in Arabic in the works of the major writers in the early ‘Melkite’ tradition, suggesting that the ‘Melkite’ community’s engagement with the religious challenge of Islam over time issued in the emergence of a recognizable Arab Christian Orthodoxy, which the term ‘Melkite’ came to designate.

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