This volume presents an introduction to, and a selection of the key studies on, the ways in which and means by which these Eastern Christianities debated with one another and with their competitors: pagans, Jews, Muslims and Latin Christians. It also includes the iconoclast controversy, which divided parts of the East Christian world in the seventh to ninth centuries, and devotes space both to the methodological tools that evolved in the process of debate and the promulgation of doctrine, and to the literary genres through which the debates were expressed.
In their preface, the editors tell us that the rationale for this series centres on the fact that "Eastern Christianity is much less known and studied than its Western counterpart...and it is the principal aim of this series to redress this deficiency and to provide a foundation for new research.....This series seeks to...mak[e] available some of the most influential research published to date....The series as a whole will, it is hoped, serve as a starting point for a more holistic approach to Eastern Christianity."
This solid, handsome volume brings together articles by some of the world's leading scholars including Sebastian Brock, Sidney Griffith, Peter Brown, Averil Cameron, and others. It is divided into five sections:
I) The Formative Period: with articles on Origen, the Manichaeans, the Syrian Orthodox under Justinian (Brock's article), and anti-Jewish polemics.
II) The Encounter with Islam: with four articles, including the first of two by Griffith.
III) Iconoclasm: with two articles including Brown's article.
IV) Anti-Latin Texts: with one article by Tia M. Kolbaba, author of a book favourably reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studiesseveral years ago: Inventing Latin Heretics: Byzantines and the Filioque in the Ninth Century.
V) Tools of Argument: with five articles, including a second one by Griffith on a "summa theologiae" in 9th-century Christian Arabic.