chapter  4
Conclusion to Part 1A
Pages 1

The earliest known formal interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims took place between the head of Islam and the head of Monophysitism in South Arabia, Muhammad and Ab H. ritha, within the last two years of Muhammad’s life. Islamic histories place the Qur’anic response to Christianity in the context of that discussion, thus the Qur’an likely records the Islamic response to the tritheistic Philoponian Monophysite doctrine. Understanding the historical context of the Qur’an as a response to Monophysitism sheds new light on the original contextual meaning of some Christian-Muslim concepts, especially those of the charge of tritheism and the deification of Mary. The degree to which this response applies to Chalcedonian Christianity would not be known until several decades after Muhammad’s death, when the Qur’anic teachings were applied in dialogue between Muslims and Christians in the Byzantine and former Persian Empires.