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There is nevertheless significantly to be discovered about early Muslim-Christian encounters in the initial generations of Islam and its gradual conquest of the Middle East. In the incorrect hands, this history can be portrayed tendentiously, as either relentless bloodshed and suffering or impeccable peace and amity. A book released final summer time tries to recognize the complexity of choices facing Christians living below Islam: Christian Martyrs below Islam: Religious Violence and the Creating of the Muslim Globe by Christian C. Sahner (Princeton University Press, 2018), 360pp.

About this book the publisher tells us the following:

How did the medieval Middle East transform from a majority-Christian globe to a majority-Muslim globe, and what function did violence play in this course of action? Christian Martyrs below Islam explains how Christians across the early Islamic caliphate gradually converted to the faith of the Arab conquerors and how tiny groups of folks rejected this faith by way of dramatic acts of resistance, such as apostasy and blasphemy.

Employing previously untapped sources in a variety of Middle Eastern languages, Christian Sahner introduces an unknown group of martyrs who have been executed at the hands of Muslim officials among the seventh and ninth centuries CE. Identified in locations as diverse as Syria, Spain, Egypt, and Armenia, they consist of an alleged descendant of Muhammad who converted to Christianity, higher-ranking Christian secretaries of the Muslim state who viciously insulted the Prophet, and the kids of mixed marriages among Muslims and Christians. Sahner argues that Christians never ever seasoned systematic persecution below the early caliphs, and certainly, they remained the biggest portion of the population in the higher Middle East for centuries just after the Arab conquest. Nonetheless, episodes of ferocious violence contributed to the spread of Islam inside Christian societies, and memories of this bloodshed played a crucial function in shaping Christian identity in the new Islamic empire.

Christian Martyrs below Islam examines how violence against Christians ended the age of porous religious boundaries and laid the foundations for a lot more antagonistic Muslim-Christian relations in the centuries to come.

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