The seventh-century rise of Islam opened a new era of religious “pluralism” in the Middle East. Yet, it would be more than a century before early Muslim scholars recorded the first Arabic accounts of the changes taking place. Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christians, however, were already producing and navigating their own responses to the new political and social order. Historically, linguistically and culturally rooted in the central lands of Islam, yet sorely understudied as sources for early Islamic history, late antique and medieval Middle Eastern Christians provide fresh perspectives for understanding the nature of religious and social change in a dynamic era of history.
2pm: Sidney H. Griffith, Catholic University of America “Bible and Qur’an: Memory, Engagement and Difference”
Nancy Khalek, Brown University, Respondent
3:45pm: Michael Penn, Mt. Holyoke College “Beyond Clashing Civilizations: Rethinking Early Christian-Muslim Relations”
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University, Respondent
5:00pm: New Questions in the study of early Muslim-Christian Relations
A roundtable discussion with Jonathan Conant, Brown University; Steven Judd, Southern- Connecticut State University; Sandra Toenies Keating, Providence College; Charles Stang, Harvard Divinity School; Anthony Watson, Brown University