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5 The Tools of Christian Arabic Apologetic and Polemic

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Chapter Summary

In seeking to articulate the truths of Christianity within the context of Islamic society and theology, Theodore Abū Qurra, Abū Rāʾiṭa and ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī each use a variety of tools, arguments and proofs in order to persuade their reader, whether Christian or Muslim, of the reasonableness of Christian teaching concerning the nature and unity of God. The arguments explored in detail; their employment, origins and reactions to them, in order to trace the continuity and originality of Christian proofs for the Trinity, and subsequently aid the discussion concerning the role of Arabic speaking Christian theologians in Islamic society and their engagement with Muslim theology. In relation to the doctrine of the Trinity, scriptural evidence appears to have been largely disregarded: Muslim scholars concentrated on showing the illogicality of the doctrine based on logical and rational proofs.

Keywords: ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī; Abū Qurra; Abū Rāʾiṭa; Arabic speaking Christian; Christian; Islamic society; Tools; unity of God

10.1163/9789004279698_007
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