Mike Aquilina

Contact with Early Islam

Monday August 14th 2006, 3:36 am

In mid-July, Kevin at Biblicalia posted two items on St. John of Damascus and Islam (here and here). At Kevin’s place and at this blog, visitors asked about other Christian sources on early Islam. Kevin, erudite as ever, suggested a handful; but folks were still looking for more.

Well, over the weekend, I ran across this article — “Disputing with Islam in Syriac: The Case of the Monk of Bêt Hãlê and a Muslim Emir,” by Sidney Griffith of the Catholic University of America. It appeared in the January 2000 issue of Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, which generously posts all its content free online.

It’s rich content — the article mentioned above is just a small sample — and much of it is related to recent posts here and elsewhere in the patristiblogosphere. Hugoye has fascinating studies of St. Ephrem’s resonances in (for example) John Milton, the Wesley Brothers, the Oxford Movement, and the environmental movement. Those of you who were utterly captivated by my post on the feast of Saints Addai and Mari will be positively enthralled by “Possible Historical Traces in the Doctrina Addai,” by Ilaria Ramelli of the Catholic University of Milan.

Spend some time with Hugoye today.