Sunday, 3 May 2015

Nestor Kavvadas: An Apocalyptic Response to 8th Century Islamisation of Northern Mesopotamia by Joseph Hazzaya

An Apocalypse that forms the second part of an as yet uneditate tractate "On Providence" by Joseph Hazzaya appears to be the author's response to the rapid spread of Islam in his homeland, Northern Mesopotamia, during the second half of the 8th century. Indeed, a close reading of this work reveals multiple significant connections, direct or indirect, to contemporary historical and cultural developments: from a parallelism between the present and the reign of the Antichrist to an exhortation urging renegates to return to the Church to - rather unexpected - parallels between the author's accounts of para-Biblical events and the Quran. A survey of such connections can show the relevance of Hazzaya's Apocalypse as a piece of evidence for the history of East Syrian Christianity in early Abbasid Northern Mesopotamia.

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