Creating Saints and Communities

Christian C. Sahner

in Christian Martyrs under Islam

Published by Princeton University Press

Published in print August 2018 | ISBN: 9780691179100
Published online January 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780691184180
Creating Saints and Communities

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This chapter considers what hagiography meant as a genre of literature in the postconquest period. It investigates the rhetorical goals of these texts, arguing that many were written by monks and priests to discourage conversion to Islam and to condemn Christians who were drawn too closely to Arab culture. It then suggests that the martyrologies enshrined the views of one side of an intra-Christian debate about the threats of Islamization and Arabization. The chapter is organized into three sections. The first examines the social and religious backdrop of martyrology-writing, namely, the perceived threat of Islamization and Arabization. The second section discusses the authors of the texts and their motives. The third section explores how these attitudes mapped onto Christian sectarianism in the early medieval Middle East.

Keywords: hagiography; Islam; Christianity; Christians; religious conversion; Arab culture; martyrologies; Islamization; Arabization

Chapter.  19340 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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