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Guide for a Church Under Islam: The Sixty-Six Canonical Questions

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In the Christian East, the pastoral manuals of the Church adopted the format of Questions/Answers. The authors of these canonical works were bishops and priests who often wrote to guide clergy in addressing issues arising from diocesan and parish life. "Guide for a Church Under Islam" concerns an entire church subject to Islamic persecution that sought the counsel of its sole Eastern sister church that was free from Muslim conquest. This pastoral guide for a church under Islam sets forth a pattern meant for a patriarchate to apply in addressing issues arising in a society under the domination of an alien religion that regarded itself as superior by nature.

In addition to the main issue, the twelfth-century document has myriad interesting features relevant for Church history, including its record of ancient Christian practices regarding liturgy, fasting, preparation for the Eucharist, burial of the dead, deaconesses, and the internal life of Arabic Christians living in what would become modern Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. The translation, as well as its annotations and introductory history, represent a time capsule of the Church's history in the aftermath of the Muslim conquests of the Middle East and just before the taking of Constantinople in 1204 by the Latin Crusaders.



p. ix


p. xiii

Principal Abbreviations

p. xvii



p. 3

Overview of the Translation

p. 43

Select Bibliography

p. 49


List of Council Questions  

p. 55

Canonical Questions of the Most Holy Patriarch of Alexandria, Lord Markos, and the Answers for Them by the Most Holy Patriarch of Antioch, Lord Theodoros Balsamon

p. 65

1. Canonical Sources

p. 137

2. Historical Persons Named in the Canonical Questions

p. 141


p. 143

Author Biographies

p. 153

Product Description


154 Pages


Holy Cross Orthodox Press



Product Dimensions:

6 x 9 x .5 inches


Patrick Viscuso

Publication Year:


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