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The Imam of the ChristiansThe World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, c. 750-850$
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Philip Wood

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691212791

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691212791.001.0001

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(p.235) Conclusions
The Imam of the Christians

Philip Wood

Princeton University Press

This chapter reviews the impressive and creative reworking of Islamic thought for Christian purposes that was dependent on the continued strength and support of the central government. It points out that the centralization of the church under Cyriacus and Dionysius was a product of good relations with the caliphs. It also recounts the war against Byzantium after al-Maʾmun's death and succession by his brother al-Muʿtasim, which meant that the Christians of the caliphate also came under suspicion. The chapter talks about the reign of the new caliph that led to the unravelling of Dionysius' political position, which had sustained his innovative cultural and intellectual stance during the reign of al-Maʾmun. It cites the realities of preindustrial society that meant the elimination of Christian populations' ability to resist the government, limiting their political agency and the esteem in which they were held by their Muslim co-citizens.

Keywords:   Islamic thought, central government, Cyriacus, Dionysius, caliphate, al-Maʾmun, al-Muʿtasim

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