MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN DEBATES IN THEEARLY ‘ABBASID PERIOD: The Cases of Timothy I and Theodore Abu Qurra

Hans Abdiel Harmakaputra

Abstract


Abstrak: Perdebatan Muslim-Kristen Pada Awal Era Abbasiyah: Studi Kasus Era Timothy I dan Theodore Abu Qurra. Kekhalifahan Abbasiyah awal meninggalkan warisan penting dalam sejarah dunia, melalui gerakan penerjemahan pemikiran dan literatur Yunani ke dalam bahasa Arab. Era tersebut menjadi saksi berkembangnya diskursus antar-agama maupun debat keagamaan Islam dan Kristen. Artikel ini berupaya mendeskripsikan bagaimana kedua poin sejarah di atas berkorelasi dengan faktor lain seperti politik dan identitas keagamaan. Debat paling awal berlangsung antara khalifah al-Mahdi (755-785 M) dengan Timothy I (728-823 M). Perdebatan keduanya merupakan contoh pertama diskursus keagamaan era ini. Contoh berikutnya perdebatan khalifah al-Ma’mun (813-833 M) dengan Theodore Abu Qurra (755-830M). Dengan mengetahui motif kedua khalifah dalam menyelenggarakan debat keagamaan, jaringan konteks periode tersebut akan dapat dipahami dengan lebih baik.


Abstract: The era of the early ‘Abbasid caliphate made an important mark on the history of the world by the event of the Greek translation movement, i.e. the translation of Greek thoughts into the Arabic language. In addition to this development, the era also saw the flourishing of interreligious discourse, in both polemical literatures and religious debates, especially between Christians and Muslims. This article tries to describe how those two historical remarks are correlated under the light of other factors such as politics and religious identity. The earliest debate was happened between caliph al-Mahdi (r. 755-785 CE) and a Nestorian Catholicos, Timothy I (728- 823 CE), as the first sample of religious discourses. The second one is the debate between the caliph al-Ma’mun (r. 813-833CE), who arranged many religious debates in his court, with Theodore Abu Qurra (755 – 830 CE), Bishop of Harran. By knowing the motives of the two caliphs who sponsored those events, readers would catch a better picture of the historical contexts of that time.


Keywords: Islamic history, Abbasid period, Muslims-Christian relation


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