The Legend of Sergius BahĚŁiĚraĚ: Eastern Christian Apologetics and Apocalyptic in Response to Islam

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Barbara Roggema
BRILL, 2009 - Social Science - 579 pages
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From the eighth century onwards, Christians living under Islam have produced numerous apologetic and polemical works, aimed at proving the continuing validity of Christianity. Among these is the Legend of Sergius Baa, ArA, which survives in two Syriac and two Arabic versions, and appears here in edition and translation. Being a counterhistory of Islam, it reshapes early Muslim traditions about a monk recognizing Mua, ammad as the final Prophet by turning this monk into Muhammada (TM)s tutor and co-author of the Qura (TM)an. In response to Muslim triumphalist propaganda, it portrays Islama (TM)s political power as predestined but finite and unrelated to its religious message. This feature sets the legend apart from similar Christian accounts of the origin of Islam, East and West, which are reviewed in this study as well.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Note on Conventions
7
Part I The Legend of Sergius Bahira in the Light of Christian Apologetics Visvis Islam
9
Chapter One MuslimChristian Confrontation and Counterhistory
11
Chapter Two The Islamic Bahira
37
Chapter Three The Apocalypse of Bahira
61
Chapter Four Bahiras Teachings
95
Chapter Five The Quran against Islam
129
Part II Texts and Translations
209
Chapter Eight The Recensions and the Manuscript Tradition
211
Chapter Nine The EastSyrian Recension
253
Chapter Ten The WestSyrian Recension
311
Chapter Eleven The Short Arabic Recension
375
Chapter Twelve The Long Arabic Recension
433
Bibliography
529
Index of Scriptural Quotations and References
561

Chapter Six The legend outside the Legend
151
Chapter Seven Concluding Discussion
203

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About the author (2009)

Barbara Roggema has a Ph.D. in Languages and Cultures of the Middle East (University of Groningen, 2007) and is lecturer in the History of the Islamic World at John Cabot University (Rome).

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