General History departmental seminar

Christian Apologetics and Muslim-Christian Interaction in Eleventh Century Armenia.

The Case of Grigor Magistros Pahlawuni and Amir Ibrahim.

Prof. Theo Maarten van Lint

University of Oxford

Fellow of the Fund for the Advancement of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Israeli Academy of Sciences

Grigor Magistros Pahlawuni was the most erudite person in 11th century Armenia. Exceptionally, he was a layman. He and his family formed part of the elite of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom and were patrons of churches and monasteries. Grigor was the founder of an academy and invested much in education. He was also a stalwart of the Armenian Orthodox Church.  His correspondence of c. ninety epistles contains two answers to letters by a certain Amir Ibrahim, son of an Armenian Christian mother and a Muslim father, one on faith, and one on philosophy. Amir Ibrahim’s position as the offspring of parents belonging to different faiths makes his request a poignant one. Grigor’s letter on faith is a refutation of a number of objections to Christianity often raised by Muslims and couched by Amir Ibrahim in the form of questions. The lecture will discuss these and their background, and will briefly touch on Grigor’s answer to Amir Ibrahim’s request for a letter on philosophy. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022, 12:00

Room #146, New Library Wing,

University of Haifa

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