The Imam of the Christians: The World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre

Author: Philip Wood

Publisher/Publication: Princeton University Press

DOI/ISBN: 9780691212791

"The book examines the way that Christian leaders adapted the political practices and ideas of their Muslim rulers between 750 and 850 in the Abbasid caliphate in the Jazira. Focusing on the writings of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, the patriarch of the Jacobite church, the author describes how this encounter produced an Islamicate Christianity that differed from the Christianities of Byzantium and western Europe in far more than just theology. Examining Middle Eastern Christian life during a critical period in the development of Islam, professor Wood shows how Dionysius and other Christian clerics were able to command greater power over their coreligionists, such as the right to issue canons regulating the lives of lay people, gather tithes, and use state troops to arrest opponents, by forging close ties with Muslim elites."