Christian Arabic theological works


Daga Portillo, Rocío, 1961‒

Date of creation
2023 Gregorian
Preferred title
Christian Arabic theological works English
Work type
Single work
Work manifested
Work genre
Textual work

Adult, serious


This article analyzes author’s endings and copyist’s colophons in theological works, especially from tenth-century Syro-Palestine and Egypt. A tentative typology and a comparison of Christian and Islamic colophons is also provided. Self-abasement, seeking God’s forgiveness, and prayers from the reader are features derived from the monastic tradition in the Greek, Syriac and Coptic languages before they became characteristic of Arabic colophons of Christian works. Moreover, the apologetic language of Christian works varies according to historical circumstances. While Abū Qurra, in the Syro-Palestine region, wrote a strong apologetic colophon in a time of mass conversions, Sāwīrus b. al-Muqaffaʿ, under the tolerant Fāṭimid rulers, takes a less apologetic approach. Islamic colophons render similar formulas of self-abasement, mostly using the vocabulary of Sufism. The extent of this usage needs further research, however. The printing press put an end to religious formulas and self-abasement, due to the influence of the secularized milieu of Western Europe.