January 12, 2019

Icon of St. Peter, St. Catherine’s Monastery, 6th c. (Wikimedia Commons) Theodore Abu Qurrah was the Melkite Bishop of Haran (Upper Mesopotamia) who lived in the 9th century A.D.  As such, he found himself living under Muslim rule.  Besides being one of the first Christian authors to write in Arabic, he was also one of the first of these to defend Christianity from Islamic writers who sought to disprove it.[1]  In the East, the three largest groups of Christians were... Read more

January 5, 2019

Urban II Preaching the First Crusade (Wikimedia Commons)   The Historical Context In the wake of the rise of Islam in the 7th century, the Byzantine Empire lost a lot of territory to Muslim conquests over the following centuries.  Not too long after the conversion of the Seljuk Turks in the 10th century to Islam, came their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in A.D. 1071.  In 1074 Pope St. Gregory VII appealed to Western Christians to... Read more


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