Sunday, April 17, 2011

Syriac writers in the early Islamic period

Illuminating Early Christian-Muslim Relations
Released: 4/13/2011 1:40 PM EDT
Source: Mount Holyoke College

Newswise — Michael Penn, associate professor of religion, has received not just one, but five awards to fund his research and writing for the next two years.

Penn’s focus is on early Christian-Muslim relations, particularly writings by Syriac Christians who lived in the same region as Mohammed and his followers during the rise of Islam from the seventh to the ninth centuries. (Syriac is an Aramaic dialect, which, according to Penn, few people speak today.)

While there have been a handful of journal articles on this topic, Penn says these early Christian writings have generally been overlooked because few scholars read ancient Syriac. His forthcoming books on this subject will be the first to delve into this material and pull it together into one work.

Congratulations to Professor Penn. This sounds like an important project.