A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd al-Jabbar by Gabriel Reynolds

By Gabriel Reynolds

In 385 AH/AD 995 the Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar, popular for his Mu'tazili theological writings, wrote the affirmation of the Proofs of Prophecy, a piece that features a inventive polemic opposed to Christianity. 'Abd al-Jabbar reinterprets the Bible, Church background (especially the lives of Paul and Constantine) and Christian perform to argue that Christians replaced the Islamic faith of Jesus. the current paintings starts with an exam of the arguable conception that this polemic was once borrowed from an unknown Judaeo-Christian team. the writer argues that 'Abd al-Jabbar's polemic is healthier understood as a reaction to his specific milieu and the on-going inter-religious debates of the medieval Islamic global. via interpreting the lifestyles and considered 'Abd al-Jabbar, in addition to the Islamic, Christian and Jewish antecedants to his polemic, the writer uncovers the intimate courting among sectarian controversy and the advance of an Islamic doctrine on Christianity.

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A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd al-Jabbar and the Critique of Christian Origins (Islamic History and Civilization)

In 385 AH/AD 995 the Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar, renowned for his Mu'tazili theological writings, wrote the affirmation of the Proofs of Prophecy, a piece that features a inventive polemic opposed to Christianity. 'Abd al-Jabbar reinterprets the Bible, Church historical past (especially the lives of Paul and Constantine) and Christian perform to argue that Christians replaced the Islamic faith of Jesus.

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While this may be the case, it is not the issue at hand. For Pines contends that the Critique stands out from the rest of the Islamic tradition as a unique record of an otherwise silenced Judaeo-Christian tradition. There is also reason to doubt Pines’ interpretation of 'Abd alJabbàr’s remark that “a group [ farìq] of [the Christians], who are the elite, believe that their Lord is a Jew, the son of a Jew” (p. 199). Pines, as I mention above, sees this as a reference to the JudaeoChristians, yet the term farìq is generally not used for a coherent sect, as are other terms such as madhhab, ni˙la, milla and even firqa.

He excavates many sites seeking to unearth the proof that he knows is there. 3. The Goals of the Present Work In the preceding survey I have introduced, essentially,76 the sum of western scholarship on the Critique, and it is clear that the lacunae 74 Pines comments: “In the second century, Tatian, who had been a student of Justin’s and was subsequently decried as a heretic, composed in Syriac a Harmony of the four Gospels, which, because of its four components, was known as the Diatesseron. ], in the wake of Baumstark and Peters, lends credence to a piece of information, disbelieved by other scholars, according to which Tatian’s Harmony had also a fifth component, the Gospel according the Hebrews” (“Gospel Quotations,” 252–3).

11 Two monographs have been written on 'Abd al-Jabbàr’s theological thought: G. Hourani’s Islamic Rationalism: the Ethics of 'Abd al-Jabbàr and J. 13 Two general statements can be made on this topic at the outset. First: there is no separating the rise of the Mu'tazila and the rise of kalàm. As D. ”14 Second, Mu'tazilì writings are, even in the earliest extant sources, polemical. The canonical account of Mu'tazilì origins is summarized by the Sunnì heresiographer Mu˙ammad b. 'Abd al-Karìm al-Shahrastànì (d.

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