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3 Abū Rāʾiṭa Al-Takrītī (c. 755–c. 835)

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Chapter Summary

'Ḥabīb ibn Khidma Abū Rāʾiṭa al-Takrītī the Jacobite', as he refers to himself in the title of his 'Refutation of the Melkites', is a man about whom little is known. From his name we can infer that he came from the Christian town of Takrīt, situated around 140 kilometres north-west of Baghdad on the Tigris River. As we see, in terms of both subject matter and method, Abū Rāʾiṭa responded to Muslim questions using language and concepts borrowed from internal Islamic debate and Greek philosophical thought, particularly Aristotelian thought, alongside more traditional Christian proofs. Abū Rāʾiṭa explains the doctrine of the Trinity initially through the use of analogy, which he is careful to qualify. He then makes brief reference to God having life and word which correspond to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, after which he turns to the issue of the Incarnation.

Keywords: Abū Rāʾita Al-Takrītī; Aristotelian thought; God; Greek philosophical thought; Incarnation; Islamic debate



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