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Visiting Speaker - Professor David Thomas, University of Birmingham

The Minimalisation of Christianity under Early Islamic Rule

Christians living under early Islamic rule often enjoyed considerable social freedom, but they were also constrained by a sense of increasing inequality. In addition to discriminatory legal measures, Muslim religious writings frequently ignored Christianity as a full faith tradition. Religious experts routinely stripped it down into a series of individual teachings which they proved were weak by contrast with the strength of their own Islamic doctrines. Christianity as a tradition of faith was gradually erased from the picture and Christians were silenced as partners in religious debate. Professor Thomas has been a specialist in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations for many years. After undergraduate work at Oxford, he worked in the northern Sudan, where his interest in Islam was kindled. He took this further in theological studies at Cambridge and in PhD research at Lancaster. Professor Thomas worked in parts of the UK for some years on relations between the churches and Muslim communities, and in 1993 he was appointed Lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak. In 2004 he was promoted to Reader in the Department of Theology and Religion, and in 2007 was appointed Professor of Christianity and Islam. In 2011 he was made Nadir Dinshaw Professor of Interreligious Relations.

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David_Thomas_A4_poster.pdfProfessor David Thomas, University of Birmingham (415K)


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