"I Trust the Gospel and All Its Contents": The Disputation of Jirji the Monk and Medieval Islamic Knowledge of the Bible

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James Patrick Holmes


At the end of the thirteenth century, a Melchite monk engaged in a religious disputation with a Muslim scholar and holy man in the presence of al-Zafir, the son of the sultan Saladin.  Despite occurring in an era of Crusades, the Christian and the Muslim show remarkable respect for each other, and, intriguingly, a depth of knowledge for the opposite religion, particularly holy scripture, the Bible and the Qur'an.  The purpose of this paper is to look at this disputation, and, using other scholarship, understand what level of knowledge medieval Muslims had regarding the Christian scriptures.

Article Details

Graduate Research Prize (History)
Author Biography

James Patrick Holmes

James Holmes is a first-year graduate student and graduate assistant in the History department. He received his B.A. in History from the University of Northern Colorado in December 2011. His areas of interest include medieval England, France, and the Middle East, religious history, interaction between the West and the Middle East in culture and literature, and the history of ideas and philosophy.  He would like to thank Dr. Winer for her assistance in conceptualizing his project, and the Fordham Internet Medieval Sourcebook, where he first encountered the Disputation of Jirji the Monk, which inspired his interest in the Islamic world.