Northern Illinois University Press

The Orthodox Church in the Arab World 700-1700

An Anthology of Sources

Edited by Samuel Noble and Alexander Treiger

“All of the texts chosen for this volume are interesting in their own right, but the collection of these sources into a single volume, with helpful introductions and bibliographies, makes this book an invaluable resource for the study of Arabic Christianity and, indeed, the history of Christianity more broadly.” —Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies

“This volume reveals a strain of Christianity that has been scarcely known for far too long. It is also timely, in that it opens up a world that, once simply forgotten, is now under threat of extinction as never before.” —Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations

“This book is impressive in both content and presentation. The editors have marshaled a team of leading scholars in the field to produce a series of translations of significant Christian Arabic works, and have added an introduction that forms a comprehensive history of Christians within the Muslim world. They have produced a book that will be of immense help to the further understanding of Eastern Christianity and the history of relations between Christians and Muslims.”-David Thomas, University of Birmingham

Arabic was among the first languages in which the Gospel was preached. The Book of Acts mentions Arabs as being present at the first Pentecost in Jerusalem, where they heard the Christian message in their native tongue. Christian literature in Arabic is at least 1,300 years old, the oldest surviving texts dating from the 8th century. Pre-modern Arab Christian literature embraces such diverse genres as Arabic translations of the Bible and the Church Fathers, biblical commentaries, lives of the saints, theological and polemical treatises, devotional poetry, philosophy, medicine, and history. Yet in the Western historiography of Christianity, the Arab Christian Middle East is treated only peripherally, if at all.

The first of its kind, this anthology makes accessible in English representative selections from major Arab Christian works written between the 8th and 18th centuries. The translations are idiomatic while preserving the character of the original. The popular assumption is that in the wake of the Islamic conquests, Christianity abandoned the Middle East to flourish elsewhere, leaving its original heartland devoid of an indigenous Christian presence. Until now, several of these important texts have remained unpublished or unavailable in English. Translated by leading scholars, these texts represent the major genres of Orthodox literature in Arabic. Noble and Treiger provide an introduction that helps form a comprehensive history of Christians within the Muslim world. The collection marks an important contribution to the history of medieval Christianity and the history of the medieval Near East.

Feb 2014, 6x9, 355 pp
ISBN 978-0-87580-701-0
$35.00x Paper

Samuel Noble is a doctoral candidate in religious studies at Yale University.

Alexander Treiger is associate professor in the Department of Classics and Program in Religious Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-701-0
Paper $35.00