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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I have been studying Syriac with Sidney Griffith for two years now. I will be getting into another specialty of his this coming year: Christian-Muslim relations in the early centuries of Islam. That is why I decided to read this book. As it happens, there was more hidden treasure in this subject than I had suspected. Christians did not just live silently under Muslim domination; they interacted with Muslims at the highest levels. There was a very fruitful mutual exchange of ideas for several centuries. Each community helped shape the way in which the other expressed itself, and even the topics each chose to address.

In view of the rancorous relations currently prevailing between certain segments of the Muslim and Christian/Western communities, both sides would benefit from doing as Dr. Griffith suggests toward the end of this book and re-examining the records of these interactions. Many of them show that it is possible for Muslims and Christians to have intelligent conversations about theological matters without the constant bitterness and recriminations that now poison the atmosphere between the two sides.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Griffith's excellent introduction to the world of those Christian Churches--namely, the Nestorian, Jacobite, and Melkite Churches--that grew into their mature form after the Arab invasions of the 7th century, is an outstanding introduction to a topic that needs more attention. Moreover, it is the only introductory work of its kind in English, and so will of necessity be the starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about how Christians in the Arabic speaking world dealt with Islam. And contrary to what some reviewers have inexplicably written on here and other places, the book is very easy to read, and provides a very fine introduction to a fascinating topic. It gives a window into a particular brand of Christianity (Arabic speaking) which most people who consider themselves Christians in the west know nothing about. Many assume, wrongly, that Arabic is only the language of Islam exclusively, and Griffith's book shows how Christians under Muslim rule not only appropriated Arabic in order to counter Muslim apologists in order to defend their faith, but even the language of the Qur'an itself. Given the state of Muslim-Christian relationsn in the world today, as well as the emphasis on "enculturation" in many ecumenical circles, Griffith's book is a must read for anyone wishing to consider such topics. Highly recommended.
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on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Dr. Sidney Griffith successfully depicts how the eastern church interacted with Islamic counterparts, sometimes reasonably, at other time strugglingly. This book is invaluable in research for Muslim - Chrstian relation during the early Islamic age, and highly recommended.
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on March 15, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Quite interesting for those interested in the situation of Christians under Muslim rule.
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on January 12, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Great
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18 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
While the author may have excellent academic credentials, his writing is filled with run-on sentences and hyperactive footnotes that seriously mar the readability of the text. The book reads more like an annotated transcription of a series of lectures than a coherent work, and the repetitions of textual snippets and repetition of dates is highly distracting. I would suggest that the next time Dr. Griffith writes a book that he tries the novel concept of reading the material aloud, so he can discover just how badly his style and phrasing plays to others. I suggest that his series editors might try the same exercise.
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