Vierteljahresschrift für das Gesamtgebiet der katholischen Theologie
Begründet von Kardinal Leo Scheffczyk • ISSN 0178-1626


Peter Bruns:
Correspondence with a Muslim – The Apologia of Christhood by Al-Kindi (9th century)
(FKTh 2014-4, p. 241–260)

The letter of an anonymous Arabian Christian, published under the name „AlKindî“, was written in the ninth or tenth century in Mesopotamia. It offers an apology of Christian faith and is unique in its approach, its length, its scope and its method. The work contains a fictive “letter” of a Muslim who wants convert his Christian interlocutor to the Islam. The Muslim objections against Christian faith are put together in order to be confuted. In a hostile context, the Christian subject has to defend himself with good arguments. „Al-Kindî“ shows that the description of Holy Trinity in the Koran does not correspond to the Christian faith. The figure of Muhammad is measured by the criteria of Biblical prophecy. The written version of the Koran came forth only during a long evolution; the final redaction was made 200 years after the death of Muhammad and offers a text with many linguistic errors. Also the hints to the ritual obligations of Muslims and to the “holy war” are interesting. „Al-Kindî“ has paved the way also for future generations; this can be verified especially by the Latin translations of his work during the Muslim reign in Spain.

© FKTh 2020