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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The introductory chapter of the book encompasses Riḍā’s voluminous publications embodied in his magnum opus, the journal al-Manār (The Lighthouse). The core of these writings on the Christian beliefs and scriptures consisted of polemic and apologetic issues, which had already existed in the pre-modern Islamic classification of Christianity. However, al-Manār polemicists have added to their investigations many modern aspects largely influenced by Western critical studies of the Bible. As a matter of fact, there is no documented public debate between Riḍā and his contemporary missionaries But al-Manār developed certain sorts of arguments drawn from critical studies about Biblical texts, church history, political confrontations in the period of colonialism, and evidence of what it perceived as the wrong picture portrayed by missionaries of Islam. It presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: al-Manār; Biblical texts; Christianity; Riḍā

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