As the first Christians to encounter Islam, Syriac authors preserve the earliest Christian depictions of Muslims, Islam, and the conquests. Syriac writers also present the unusual circumstance of a group interpreting not their victory, but their defeat as the outcome of a holy war. This chapter examines how Syriac Christian responses to these questions developed over time and across literary genres. It investigates how early Christian communities interpreted and reinterpreted the Islamic conquests and how their writings constructed images, rhetorical strategies, and stereotypes that later Christian writers would further elaborate.
Keywords: Syriac writers; Syriac Christians; Islamic conquests; holy war
Chapter. 10290 words.
Subjects: Religious Studies
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