Christian Doctrines in Islamic Theology (History of by David Thomas

By David Thomas

By means of the 10th century Islamic theology had develop into an built-in approach during which theologians built subtle bills of the character of the realm and God's dating with it. in addition they used it to set up proofs that Islam used to be the one rationally tenable kind of trust, construction those partly on proofs of the illogicalities in different faiths, together with Christianity. via excerpts from key works of the theologians al-Nashi' al-Akbar, al-Maturidi, al-Baqillani and 'Abd al-Jabbar, this booklet exhibits how Muslim theologians during this interval made use of Christian doctrines as examples of inaccurate considering to assist verify the correctness in their personal theology, and the way between Muslim theologians Christianity had ceased to draw critical realization as a rival to Islam.

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Author, and the form ‘arising from what the prophet informed them about this’ seems awkward and uncharacteristic as a way of referring to the Qur"an. A preferable explanation might be that he is referring to the Old Testament prophetic books in which Christians see predictions of Christ, though his condensing all of these into the one representative ‘the prophet’ is again peculiar. But if this is what he means, his argument that these Christians are barred from such texts because they restrict themselves to the Inj¯ıl alone presupposes an invented group who conform more to the expectations of the Qur"an that they would 30 chapter two adhere to their one revealed text and no other parts of the Bible rather than any real Christian group.

Iqtis. ¯as. madh¯ahib as. h. 12 Al-N¯ashi"’s work thus appears to have conformed to a well-established tradition of descriptive and polemical works on both non-Islamic religions and philosophies and views expressed within Islam. It is more than likely that he actually used some of them in his accounts and arguments, though since none of them survives and his own extant fragments are silent about his sources, little can be said about this. His work stands as one of the earliest accessible examples of what was a thriving genre of literature from a period in which Muslims began to show fascination for the variety of religious expression they encountered.

This is clear from the Christological formula he attributes to ‘the community’ in § 3 below, which is characteristically Nestorian, from repeated references in the accounts of the various sects to the extent of their agreements and disagreements with Nestorian teachings, from the transliterated names of many sects, which presuppose Syriac antecedents, and most obviously from the singular absence of the Nestorians from the list of Christian sects, as though they represent the standard by which the others are measured.

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