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Publication of "When Christians First Met Muslims A Sourcebook of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam" by Michael Philip Penn (April 2015)

Publication of "When Christians First Met Muslims A Sourcebook of the (…)

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The author

Michael Philip Penn is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Religion at Mount Holyoke College and the author of Envisioning Islam: Syriac Christians in the Early Muslim World and Kissing Christians: Ritual and Community in the Late Ancient Church.


The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present, Syriac Christians wrote the first and most extensive accounts of Islam, describing a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic.

Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions between what eventually became the world’s two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.


Prologue: The Year 630


  • Account ad 637
  • Chronicle ad 640
  • Letters, Isho’yahb III
  • Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephrem
  • Khuzistan Chronicle
  • Maronite Chronicle
  • Syriac Life of Maximus the Confessor
  • Canons, George I
  • Colophon of British Library Additional 14,666
  • Letter, Athanasius of Balad
  • Book of Main Points, John bar Penkaye
  • Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius
  • Edessene Apocalypse
  • Exegesis of the Pericopes of the Gospel, Hnanisho’ I
  • Life of Theodute
  • Colophon of British Library Additional 14,448
  • Apocalypse of John the Little
  • Chronicle ad 705
  • Letters, Jacob of Edessa
  • Chronicle, Jacob of Edessa
  • Scholia, Jacob of Edessa
  • Against the Armenians, Jacob of Edessa
  • Kamed Inscriptions
  • Chronicle of Disasters
  • Chronicle ad 724
  • Disputation of John and the Emir
  • Exegetical Homilies, Mar Abba II
  • Disputation of Bet Hale
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Read the introduction :

View online : UCPress