Penn, “When Christians First Met Muslims: A Sourcebook of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam”

In March, the University of California Press released “When Christians First Met Muslims: A Sourcebook of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam” by Michael Philip Penn (Mount Holyoke College). The publisher’s description follows:

The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present, Syriac Christians wrote the first and most extensive accounts of Islam, describing a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic.

Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions between what eventually became the world’s two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.

Khan, “From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South Asia”

In March, Indiana University Press released “From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South Asia” by Adil Hussain Khan (Loyola University New Orleans). The publisher’s description follows:

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community represents the followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), a charismatic leader whose claims of spiritual authority brought him into conflict with most other Muslim leaders of the time. The controversial movement originated in rural India in the latter part of the 19th century and is best known for challenging current conceptions of Islamic orthodoxy. Despite missionary success and expansion throughout the world, particularly in Western Europe, North America, and parts of Africa, Ahmadis have effectively been banned from Pakistan. Adil Hussain Khan traces the origins of Ahmadi Islam from a small Sufi-style brotherhood to a major transnational organization, which many Muslims believe to be beyond the pale of Islam.