Macalester Islam Journal


When studying the writings of early Christian authors, it is intriguing to explore the various arguments and accusations they made against the Islamic religion. Each writer relayed his unique understanding of this new religion and did his best to convey the message that he felt Christians should realize. Although each polemicist had his own approach to the issue, when reading multiple texts that reference the same subject it is difficult for me to identify the subtle differences buried among the many similarities. From the origins of Islam to apocalyptic predictions to miraculous conversion stories, the same ideas were continuously recycled from the 8th to the 14th century. The question that arises from this repetition is simply: why? Why did the authors choose to address certain issues more frequently than others? Why might this create problems for 21st century scholars? This paper will discuss these questions in order to better understand the different approaches put forth by early Christian authors.