Date Approved

2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Philip C. Schmitz

Committee Member

John L. Knight

Abstract

This historical research study explores the changes of conquered Christians’ social-religious liberties from the first interactions between Christians and Arab-Muslims during the conquests c. A.D. 630 through the the ‘Abbasid era c. A.D. 850. Examining the development of Christian apologetic interaction over time and its effect within Muslim communities, apologetic dialogue and disputation generated a serious concern of apostasy in the Islamic Empire in which later Islamic legal scholars particularly emphasized and restricted Christian apologetics and evangelical actions in universal Islamic law codes, altering Christian social-religious living. This thesis suggests that Christian social-religious liberties did not immediately begin in conflict or legal restraint, but rather gradually developed and became restricted over time because Christians pressed in, crossed over, and challenged the religious beliefs of Islamic confessional communities, potentially prompting Arab-Muslims to convert to Christianity.

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