Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Beyond Clashing Civilizations: Rethinking Early Christian-Muslim Relations

Fri, October 29, 2010 | Texas Union, Sinclair Suite (3.128)

5:00 PM

The Workshop on Late Antiquity presents:
"Beyond Clashing Civilizations: Rethinking Early Christian-Muslim Relations"

A lecture by Michael Penn, Mount Holyoke College
October 29, 2010, 5:00 PM
Texas Union, Sinclair Suite (3.128)


The history of early Christian-Muslim relations has often been told from the perspective of Greek Christians from the besieged city of Constantinople or Latin Crusader accounts. Our earliest, largest, and  most diverse set of early Christian writings concerning Islam, however,  was written in an Aramaic dialect called Syriac. Professor Penn asks how  these rarely studied Syriac documents can substantially change our  understanding of the first encounters of the modern world's two largest  religions. In "Beyond Clashing Civilizations" Penn argues that these sources point not only toward a much more complex set of interactions than usually envisioned. They also suggest that in the seventh through  ninth centuries the very categories of Christian and Islam were much  more ambiguous, permeable, and overlapping than previously has been acknowledged.

 

 

 

Sponsored by: Center and Department for Middle Eastern Studies; the Department of Religious Studies; and the Department of Art and Art History

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