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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of this book titled The Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā: Eastern Christian Apologetics and Apocalyptic in Response to Islam contains acknowledgements and abbreviations. The texts presented in this study have at their core a very simple idea. It is the idea that the Prophet Muḥammad, during his early years, encountered a Christian monk. Most Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, who as early as the eighth century CE were telling stories about this encounter, would not have liked to call this encounter an 'idea' but rather a 'historical given'. The present study addresses the question of the evolution of this 'idea' in the light of the development of Eastern Christian apologetics vis-à-vis Islam. It explores the interplay of anti-Muslim polemic and Christian apologetics in the many narratives that revolve around this encounter.

Keywords: Christian; Muḥammad; Sergius Baḥīrā



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