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Introduction A Ninth-Century Defense Of Christian Doctrine: Abū Rā’Iṭah Al-Takrītīs Response To His Muslim Critics

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Chapter Summary

The theological debate between Muslims and Christians had already commenced during the lifetime of Muḥammad, and by the beginning of the ninth century polemical writings similar to those of Abū Rāʾiṭah authored by adherents of both religious communities were becoming common. A significant reason why a defense of Christian doctrine could not be taken over wholesale from earlier apologists such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Cyprian and Irenaeus, was that the Qurʾān had added another problem to the mix. By the beginning of the ninth century, each of the three major Christian denominations which found itself existing in Arab-dominated lands had produced an important apologist in Arabic. In summary, it is clear the Christian community at the turn of the ninth century living under Islamic rule was confronted with a new situation that necessitated a creative response.

Keywords: Abū Rāʾiṭah; Christian doctrine; Muslim critics



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