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Muslim-Christian Confrontation And Counterhistory

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the question of how Christians constructed their responses to Islam, and briefly explains the methods employed by early Muslim theologians to establish the truth of their revelation and tradition. It explores how these attempts to affirm the tenets of Islam ultimately affected the nature of early Muslim-Christian debate. The methods of Christian apologetics consisted of philosophical argumentation, psychologizing argumentation, uṣūl al-fiqh argumentation, narrative affirmation and proofs from Christian and Muslim scripture. Christians defended their faith and counteracted Islamic claims by appropriating Muslim tradition and shaping it according to what they understood to be Islam. Within the Eastern Christian literature about Islam one can find several pieces which constitute a counterhistory of Islamic origins. Predictably, they appropriate the historical accounts from a Muslim perspective and try to reshape them according to their own understanding of how Islam came into being.

Keywords: christian apologetics; Eastern Christian literature; Muslim theologians; muslim-christian confrontation



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