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Cross Veneration in the Medieval Islamic World: Christian Identity and Practice Under Muslim Rule

Cross Veneration in the Medieval Islamic World: Christian Identity and Practice Under Muslim Rule
Charles Tieszen

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One of the most common religious practices among medieval Eastern Christian communities was their devotion to venerating crosses and crucifixes. Yet many of these communities existed in predominantly Islamic contexts, where the practice was subject to much criticism and often resulted in accusations of idolatry. How did Christians respond to these allegations? Why did they advocate the preservation of a practice that was often met with confusion or even contempt? To shed light onto these questions, Charles Tieszen looks at every known apologetic or polemical text written between the eighth and fourteenth centuries to include a relevant discussion. With sources taken from across the Mediterranean basin, Egypt, Syria and Palestine, the result is the first in-depth look at a key theological debate which lay at the heart of these communities' religious identities. By considering the perspectives of both Muslim and Christian authors, Cross Veneration in the Medieval Islamic World also raises important questions concerning cross-cultural debate and exchange, and the development of Christianity and Islam in the medieval period.

This is an important book that will shine much needed light onto Christian-Muslim relations, the nature of inter-faith debates and the wider issues facing the communities living across the Middle East during the medieval period.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction - Tracing the Life of a Theological IdeaChapter 1 - Writing about Crosses in Medieval Islamic MilieusChapter 2 - Muslims and Christians Stumbling over CrossesChapter 3 - The Cross is a Mirror of Muslim IdolatryChapter 4 - The Cross is a Symbol and Source of PowerChapter 5 - The Cross is Christ and the Distinctive Mark of His FriendsConclusion - Cruciform Believers as Icons in the Medieval Islamic WorldAppendix - An Abbreviated Guide to the Sources

Author Info

Charles Tieszen is associate professor at Simpson University and adjunct assistant professor at the Fuller Seminary. He received his PhD from the University of Birmingham and is the author of Christian Identity amid Islam in Medieval Spain and A Textual History of Christian-Muslim Relations.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: The Early and Medieval Islamic World

ISBN: 9781784536626
Publication Date: 17 Feb 2017
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138

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