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"Jewish-Christianity and the Origins of Islam" at Washington (29-31 October 2015)

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Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference For Better or Worse? Historical Trends in the Middle East and Africa

October 29 - October 31, 2015 ¦ Key Bridge Marriott Hotel ¦ Washington, D.C.

The 2015 Conference will feature:

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, "The Fate of Middle East Christians."
SPECIAL REMARKS: H.E. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States.
Roundtable discussions:
"The Spill-Over: The Sunni Jihadis of Syria/Iraq and their Impact on the Middle East Region"
"Jewish-Christianity and the Origins of Islam"
"Cultures of War: U.S. Military Training in the Middle East and Africa"

Programme: Jewish-Christianity and the Origins of Islam

The Qur’an is a unique window that brings us close to which should be the primitive Islamic belief. In fact, the first reading of the text reveals some basic ideas of this ‘foundational’ thought: a monotheistic faith of apocalyptic nature, rooted in Jewish and Christian biblical and extra-biblical traditions, with some Arabian local features and expressed in an allusive style which presupposed the knowledge of these traditions by the target audience.

Some scholars argue that there is a Jewish-Christian influence at the core of the most primitive Islam: in fact, there are some clues in the Qur’an as much as in the oldest extra-Islamic records about Islam, which could point to such environment in the origins of this religion. But, can we use the confuse term “Jewish Christianity” in this context? Is the Islamic religion really rooted in “Jewish-Christianity” or is this only a chimerical notion without historical value? In this meeting we will discuss the pros and cons of this theory, examining the methodological problems to determine the “Jewish-Christian” influence on the primitive Islamic thought.

1. Holger Zellentin (University of Nottingham).
Jewish Christianity: Category, Error, and the Future of Qur’anic Studies

2. Guillaume Dye (Université Libre de Bruxelles).
“Jewish Christianity”, the genesis of the Qur’ān, and Early Islam: some methodological reflections

3. Simon Mimouni (École Practique de Hautes Études, Paris)
Du Verus propheta chrétien (ébionite?) au Sceau des prophètes musulman

4. Stephen J. Shoemaker (University of Oregon)
Jewish Christianity, Non-Trinitarianism, and the Beginnings of Islam.

5. Robert Hoyland (ISAW, New York)
The judeo-Christian audience of the Qur’an.

6. Francisco del Río Sánchez (University of Barcelona).
“Jewish-Christianity” and Islamic origins: The transformation of a peripheral religious movement?

(Thanks to Emran al Badawi who sent this information)