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Grant number like: FB-53148-07

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Michael Philip Penn
Stanford University (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2008 – 6/30/2009

Syriac Christian Responses to the Islamic Conquests

Syriac Christians were the first Christians to encounter Muslims and they wrote most of our earliest references to Islam. Because few modern scholars read the Aramaic dialect of Syriac, these witnesses to the initial strata of Christian/Muslim relations remain virtually unanalyzed. "Imaging Islam" will provide the first comprehensive investigation of these sources and help document the earliest interactions of the modern world’s two largest religions. "Imaging Islam" explores how Syriac descriptions of Arab military victory and subsequent Muslim rule constructed ideologically charged depictions of Islam and it analyzes how these images of a perceived other helped forge a new Christian identity during an age of increasing religious pluralism.