Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: David Thomas, Alex Mallett
Associate Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Barbara Roggema, Mark Swanson, Herman Teule and John Tolan
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the faiths. It covers the period from 600 to 1500, when encounters took place through the extended Mediterranean basin and are recorded in Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin and other languages. Christian Muslim Relations Online comprises introductory essays on the treatment of Christians in the Qur’an, Qur’an commentaries, biographies of the Prophet, Hadith and Sunni law, and of Muslims in canon law, and the main body of more than two hundred detailed entries on all the works recorded, whether surviving or lost.

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Michael, Bishop of Atrīb and Malīj

(357 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Biography Mīkhāʾīl’s full name is not known, and this creates a problem for the identification of the writings attributed to him. All that is known is that he had discussions with a Muslim jurist in Alexandria in April or May 1246 and in August 1247. A few years earlier, in 1242/3, he had begun writing his treatises. Later, sometime after 1250, he became bishop of Atrīb andMalīj, succeeding Buṭrus al-Jamīl and joining the two dioceses together. He must have died before 1300. Various works are attributed to Mīkhāʾīl, but only the one called Aqwāl (‘Sayings’) is definitely by him. The att…

Michael of Damietta

(909 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Mīkhāʾīl, muṭrān Dimyāṭ; Michael, metropolitan of Damietta Date of Birth: Unknown; approximately 1130 or 1140 Place of Birth: Unknown; Egypt Date of Death: After 1208 Place of Death: Unknown; possibly Damietta Biography Little is known about the biography of Mīkhāʾīl (Michael), bishop of Damietta and the first Coptic bishop to receive the title muṭrān (metropolitan). He served during the patriarchates of Mark III ibn Zurʿa (the 73rd patriarch, 1166-89) and John VI (the 74th patriarch, 1189-1216). He is remembered for his collection of canon law and for his defense of…

Michael of Damrū

(706 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Khāʾīl / Mīkhāʾīl al-Damrāwī, bishop of Tinnīs Date of Birth: Shortly after 1000 Place of Birth: Damrū, Egypt Date of Death: Between 1051 and 1086 Place of Death: Perhaps in or near Tinnīs, Egypt Biography The author of the principal source for Lives 56-65 (covering the years 880-1046) in Siyar al-bīʿa al-muqaddasa, ‘Biographies of the holy Church’ (commonly known as The history of the patriarchs of Alexandria) was one Khāʾil or Mīkhāʾil al-Damrāwī (Michael of Damrū). In the course of his biographies, Michael shares snippets of information about himself with h…

Michael Psellus

(731 words)

Author(s): Lauritzen, Frederick
Michael Psellos Date of Birth: 1018 Place of Birth: Constantinople Date of Death: After 1081 Place of Death: Unknown Biography The life of Michael Psellus is well known as more than 1,000 of his works have survived, among them over 500 letters. His public life makes him a leading member of 11th-century Byzantine culture. Since many of his writings contain autobiographical material, it is possible to extrapolate an outline of his career. After receiving an extremely good classical education, in 1034 Psellus entered imperial service as a notary under the young Emperor…

Michael al-Simʿānī

(513 words)

Author(s): Treiger, Alexander
Michael al-Simʿānī, Michael of the Monastery of St Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain near Antioch Date of Birth: Unknown; probably about 1040 Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Antioch Date of Death: Unknown; probably ca. 1100 Place of Death: Unknown; probably Antioch Biography Michael al-Simʿānī is the author of the extant Arabic recension of the Vita of St John of Damascus. Little is known about his life, other than what he tells us in the important prologue to the Vita (extant only in some of the manuscripts; see below). There he calls himself ‘monk and priest’ and recoun…

Michael the Synkellos

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Kolia-Dermitzaki, Athina
Biography According to his own words recorded in his Life (q.v.), Michael was of ‘Persian’, i.e. Arab, origin. At the age of three, he was dedicated as an anagnostēs (reader) to the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, at twenty-five he became a monk at the monastery of St Saba, and in 797 ( PMBZ, no. 5059) or 798 (Cunningham, Life, pp. xiv and 137, n. 27) he was ordained priest by the patriarch of Jerusalem. Two years later he returned to St Saba, and in about 800 he accepted Theodorus Graptus ( PMBZ, no. 7526) and his brother Theophanes ( PMBZ, no. 8093) as monks and disciples. In about 8…

Michael the Syrian

(595 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Michael the Syrian is the name under which this Syrian Orthodox church leader is generally known to the Western world, though in the Syriac tradition he is called Mikha’il Rabō, Michael the Great or Michael the Elder, Rabō being originally used, by Barhebraeus among others, to distinguish him from his namesake Michael II Zʿōrō (‘the little’, ‘the younger’). The Syrians also called him Mikha’il d-Qindasī, after his family. He was son of the priest Elias in Melitene. He grew up in the Mon…

 Min qawl Abī Rāʾiṭa l-Takrītī al-Suryānī usquf Nasībīn mustadillan bihi ʿalā ṣiḥḥat al-Naṣrāniyya l-maqbūla min al-dāʿīn al-mubashshirīn bihā bi-l-Injīl al-muqaddas

(688 words)

Author(s): Toenies Keating, S.
From the teaching of Abū Rāʾiṭa l-Takrītī, the Syrian, Bishop of Nisibis, by which he demonstrates the authenticity of the Christianity received from the Evangelists who called to it by the Holy Gospel, The authenticity of Christianity Ḥabīb ibn Khidma Abū Rāʾiṭa l-Takrītī Date: Unknown, probably between 815 and 828 Original Language: Arabic Description This logical proof is the shortest of Abū Rāʾiṭa's extant writings and is unique both in its form and intended readership. In a few short lines, it offers a proof for the validity of Christianity ba…

 Min qawl Thāwudūrus usquf Ḥarrān al-mukannā bi-Abī Qurra ṭaʿana ʿalā l-barrāniyyīn

(595 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
Some statements of Theodore the Bishop of Ḥarrān, known as Abū Qurra, against the outsiders Theodore Abū Qurra Date: Late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This work consists of eight small texts against Islam. The first is a dialogue. It takes takes place while Theodore and some other Christians were visiting the Holy Sepulcher. Theodore is approached by some Muslims who ask him whether Christ willed to be crucified. What follows is very nearly identical to Theodore’s About Christ whether he was crucified willingly or not (see above, p. 468). The second records a…

 Miṣbāḥ al-ẓulma wa-īḍāḥ al-khidma

(1,025 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
'A lamp in the darkness and illumination of service' Al-Shams ibn Kabar Date: Probably after 1293 and before 1314 Original Language: Arabic Description The work consists of an introduction and 24 chapters of varying length. Chs 1 and 2 are theological, based on previous authors such as Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (q.v.), al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl (q.v.) and al-Muʾtaman ibn al-ʿAssāl (q.v.), who are not named, and Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (q.v.), who is. Ch. 3 is on the story of Christ, ch. 4 on the apostles, ch. 5 on canonical themes, …

 Mnēmē tou hagiou martyros Theodōrou tou neou

(472 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Max
Memorial of the holy martyr Theodore the Younger Memorial of the holy martyr Theodore the Younger Date: Latter half of the 14th century, probably before 1362 Original Language: Greek Description Theodore was born in Adrianople when it was still under Byzantine control (thus before 1362), and was taken prisoner as a child during a Turkish raid. A probable identification seems to be the raid of 1344/45, when Sultan Orhan’s troops intervened in the second civil war on John VI Cantacuzenus’s side, and pillaged large parts of Thr…

 Mnōrat qudshē

(1,277 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
‘The lamp of the sanctuary’ Barhebraeus Date: Around 1266-67, and some years later Original Language: Syriac Description The Lamp of the sanctuary is a 12-volume theological encyclopedia dealing with the most important themes of the West Syrian (‘Jacobite’) creed, such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the last judgment (see the list of the individual books below). Several books (on creation, angels, the rational soul) show some influence from the scientific and philosophical world of Islam, comparable to the aut…