Fortress Press

Early Arabic Christian Contributions to Trinitarian Theology: The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity in an Islamic Milieu

Early Arabic Christian Contributions to Trinitarian Theology

The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity in an Islamic Milieu

Thomas W. Ricks (Author)


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The doctrine of the Trinity is the keystone of Christian faith and teaching, yet most of the secondary accounts on the development of this crucial doctrine do not extend beyond Nicaea and pay scant attention to vital cultural traffic. In this volume, the author examines the exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity in a set of texts from key Arabic Christian thinkers from the eighth and ninth centuries and demonstrates that fresh thinking of this cornerstone doctrine occurred in the new context of a regnant Islamic culture; in this context, Christian theologians discovered the salience of the Nicene doctrine while engaging a new religious partner. The author provides an overlooked angle on the history of Trinitarian theology and brings attention to several profound Christian figures rarely found in Western accounts.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800699987
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 160
  • Emerging Scholars category Theology
  • Publication Date August 1, 2013


"In this carefully researched study, Thomas W. Ricks examines oft-neglected eighth and ninth century Arabic Christian defenses of their Christological and Trinitarian beliefs against Islamic accusations of polytheism. This work is an important contribution to both the history of Christian theology and the contemporary Christian-Muslim dialogue."
—John P. Galvin
The Catholic University of America
"Thomas Ricks combines the latest scholarship with writing that is vivid and accessible to produce an essential guide to Christian-Muslim encounters."
Joseph P. Amar
University of Notre Dame
"Thomas Ricks has written a much-needed introduction to the first Christian apologetical writings on the Trinity in Arabic. His analysis is clear and insightful. This book is a must for anyone interested in the earliest theological engagement between Muslims and Christians."
Sandra Keating
Providence College

"Ricks offers a fascinating exploration of Arabaphone Christian theology in the making. These intrepid and ingenious authors appealed to the Koran itself as an apologetic resource."
William P. Loewe
Catholic University of America