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Anti-Jewish Polemic And Early Islam

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Chapter Summary

During the late sixth to early eighth centuries anti-Jewish polemical texts appeared in Greek. These were written by Chalcedonian Christians, probably from Syria. Recent research points out that some of these texts demonstrate an awareness of Arabs and Islam and are directed in part at this new challenge posed to Christians. Four texts can be plausibly dated to the middle third of the seventh century and thus provide contemporary evidence for the extent to which the religion of the Arabs had formed at that early date. The Doctrina Jacobi and the Trophies of Damascus purport to record dialogues between Christians and Jews. The Disputatio Anastasii adversus Judaeos and parts of Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem of pseudo-Athanasius are collections of arguments against the Jews that would have served as preparatory tools for such dialogues. The author of both texts was probably Anastasius of Sinai, and active in Egypt and Syria.

Keywords: Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem; anti-Jewish polemical texts; Chalcedonian Christians; Disputatio Anastasii adversus Judaeos; Doctrina Jacobi; early Islam; Greek; Syria; Trophies of Damascus



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