Orthodoxy and Islam in the Middle East (Paperback)
The Seventh to the Sixteenth Centuries
Conflict or concord? Histories of Islam from its early seventh century beginnings in Arabia often portray its explosive growth into the wider Middle East as a story of struggle and conquest of the Christian people of Greater Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Alternatively these histories suggest that as often as not the conquerors were welcomed by the conquered and their existing monotheistic faiths of Christianity and Judaism tolerated and even allowed to flourish. In this short but in depth survey of the almost nine centuries that passed from the beginning of the spread of Islam up to the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Syria and Egypt beginning in 1516, Constantin Panchenko offers a more complex portrayal that opens up fresh vistas of understanding of these centuries focusing on the impact that the coming of Islam had on the Orthodox Christian communities of the Middle East and in particular the interplay of their Greek cultural heritage and experience of increasing Arabization.
This work is drawn from the author's much larger work, Arab Orthodox Christians Under the Ottomans, being an updated and expanded version of the first chapter of that book which set the historical context for the period after 1516. It will deepen the readers understanding both of the history of the Middle East in these centuries and of how the faith of Orthodox Christians in these lands is lived today.