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The Making of the Medieval Middle East$
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Jack Tannous

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179094

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179094.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Joining (and Leaving) a Muslim Minority

Joining (and Leaving) a Muslim Minority

(p.310) Chapter 11 Joining (and Leaving) a Muslim Minority
The Making of the Medieval Middle East

Jack Tannous

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the most consequential kind of Christian–Muslim interaction: conversion. It considers legitimate and illegitimate reasons for converting from one religion to another. For some Christian leaders, becoming a Muslim was something that people did out of a number of motivations, some of them more unholy than others: in addition to a desire for material benefits or a drive for status and power, there were family or tribal connections that drew people to convert. There was also an attraction to a religious framework that allowed a greater range of human behaviors and activities. People might also become Muslims under compulsion. Tellingly, these leaders could not conceive that a person might convert out of sincere religious motivation. Conversions that took place with reference to doctrines or beliefs were seen as cases where people had been deceived or had acted out of a lack of education and ignorance.

Keywords:   Christian–Muslim interaction, religious conversion, Christian leaders, Muslims, material benefits, family connections, religious framework, religious motivation, religious conversion

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