Christianity and Islam: The Mutual Understanding and the Development of their Early Relations till the End of the Umayyad Islamic Rule in the Middle East, with Special Focus on the Identity Formation of Both Communities
In this thesis I will explore how the religious identities of Christian churches and Muslim communities were formed in the socio-political and cultural context of the Middle East during the early period of Islamic rule. This formation was the product of a long process grounded in struggles over power and primacy, the hindrances of language, and limits in communication among Christians. Islam was born into a socio-political and cultural context heavily influenced by the Melkite, Monophysite and Nestorian churches, which, caught in their own processes of identity formation, had flourished in Arabia for 2 centuries at least, though Judaism was also a religious context that affected the formation of Islamic identity in Arabia. The development of the identity of both Christian and Muslim communities was a result of direct interaction between them after Islam expanded into the previously Christian region to the north of Arabia. This thesis explores this process and argues for an evident influence of main orthodox Christianity, but also non-orthodox Jewish-Christianity (Ebionite), on Islam using modern Muslim scholarship that has started to accept this, as well as Arab Christian scholarship not yet familiar in the West.
Advisor: Cooper, Timothy; Rae, Murray; Harris, William
Degree Name: Master of Theology
Degree Discipline: Theology and Religion
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Christianity; Islam; Christian-Muslim
Research Type: Thesis