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Référence :

ISLAMOCHRISTIANA 45 (2019) 155–163



‘On how to discern the truth of religion’, by Hunayn b. Isḥāq. The impersonal recension


This article contributes to the study of Christian Arabic literature by providing an introduction and English translation of the treatise entitled Kayfiyyat idrāk ḥaqīqat al-diyāna, ‘On how to discern the truth of religion’, by the prominent Baghdad-based Nestorian physician, scholar and translator, Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq (808-873). This work constitutes a defence of Christianity in a multi-religious milieu marked by the ascendency of Islam. Ḥunayn discusses therein the reasons that lead people to adhere to a particular religion, his main contention being that the truth or falsity of any religion can be ascertained by examining the reasons why it was originally accepted.

To the memory of Maurice Borrmans, M.Afr. (1925-2017)
May his passion for truth continue to inspire us all.

Titre original : “On how to discern the truth of religion”, by Hunayn b. Isḥāq. The impersonal recension


Cet article contribue à l’étude de la littérature arabe chrétienne en fournissant une introduction et une traduction anglaise du traité intitulé Kayfiyyat idrāk ḥaqīqat al-diyāna (“Comment discerner la vérité de la religion”). Ce traité a été écrit par Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq (808-873), médecin nestorien, éminent écrivain et traducteur, installé à Bagdad. Cet ouvrage offre une défense du christianisme dans un milieu pluriconfessionnel, marqué par la montée de l’islam. Ḥunayn interroge les raisons qui poussent certaines personnes à adhérer à une religion particulière. Son principal argument est que la vérité ou la fausseté de toute religion peut être vérifiée en examinant les raisons pour lesquelles elle a été acceptée à l’origine.

À la mémoire de Maurice Borrmans, M.Afr. (1925-2017)
Que sa passion pour la vérité continue à nous inspirer.

يسهم هذا المقال في دراسة الأدب العربي المسيحي من خلال عرض مقدمة وترجمة إنجليزية لمقالة بعنوان “كيفية إدراك حقيقة الديانة ” كتبها الطبيب والباحث والمترجم النسطوري البارز المقيم في بغداد حنين ب. إسحق (808-873). ويشكّل هذا العمل دفاعًا عن المسيحية في بيئة متعددة الأديان طبعتها الصحوة الإسلامية. يناقش حنين في هذا المقال الأسباب التي تدفع الناس إلى اعتناق دين معين، وترتكز حجتّه الأساسيّة إلى إمكانيّة التحقّق من صحّة أيّ ديانة أو زيفها من خلال تفحّص الأسباب المؤدّية إلى قبولها في الأصل.

Resources of this researcher


Corresponding across Religious Borders: The Letter of al-Qūṭī

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Lavigerie and Islam, an ambiguous legacy

In a recent article on the contribution of the White Fathers to the renewal of Catholic attitudes towards Islam, Rémi Caucanas rightly notes that their founder’s legacy “was not without ambiguity”...


Blessed Ramon Llull: the character and his relationship with Islam

The PISAI is pleased to announce the publication of the book Il beato Raimondo Lullo: il personaggio e il suo rapporto con l’Islam (Roma 2021), edited by Professor Diego Sarrió Cucarella, MAf...


‘On how to discern the truth of religion’, by Hunayn b. Isḥāq. The impersonal recension

Abstract This article contributes to the study of Christian Arabic literature by providing an introduction and English translation of the treatise entitled Kayfiyyat idrāk ḥaqīqat al-diyāna, ‘On...


Islam and Belonging. Proceedings of the PLURIEL 2nd International Congress

After its first international congress in Lyon from 6 to 9 September 2016 on the theme “Islam in the Plural: Faith, Thought, Society”[1], the current study brings together the proceedin...


Medieval Muslim Polemics against the Christian Creed : The Critique of ṢĀLIḤ B. AL-ḤUSAYN AL-ǦA‘FARĪ (D. 668/1270)

Abstract After introducing Ṣāliḥ b. al-Ḥusayn al-Ǧa‘farī (d. 668/1270), the Egyptian Muslim author of an important work of anti-Christian polemic entitled Taḫǧīl man ḥarrafa al-Tawrāh wa-l-Inǧīl...


Corresponding across Religious Borders. The Letter of Ibn Taymiyya to a Crusader in Cyprus

SUMMARY: Presentation of Taqī al–dīn Aḥmad ibn Taymiyya‘s Al–risāla al–qubruṣiyya, a letter written to a crusader baron in Cyprus, probably John II of Giblet, sometime between early 1303 and mid–13...


Fighting for the Cause of God: Vice or Virtue? Views of ŠIHĀB AL–DĪN AL–QARĀFĪ (d. 1285)

Original title : "Se battre pour la cause de Dieu : vice ou vertu ? Vues de ŠIHĀB AL–DĪN AL–QARĀFĪ (m. 1285)" ABSTRACT: This article discusses the views of the Cairene jurist Šihāb al–Dīn al–Qar...

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