Typologies and Argumentation Tactics in Religious Polemics - An Analysis of al-Jawāb al Sahih and the Cyprus Letter
Christian-Muslim polemical exchanges and the relationship between the two faiths’ religious authorities in the medieval period were often rigid. One exchange between Christian theologians in Cyprus and Muslim theologians in Damascus is evidently polemical and exemplifies the difficult relations that occurred early in the fourteenth century and the nature of challenging religious arguments. That is The Letter from the People of Cyprus and Ibn Taymiyya’s response to it. This article offers a new analysis through the perspective of particular theoretical typologies of religious polemics. Accordingly, the article shows that these two polemicists adhere to multiple scriptural and rational tactics in support of their biased understanding of religious truth and the definition of impeccable revelations. It also shows that both theologians were involved in forceful and sometimes contradictory argumentative techniques.
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