It is with a profound sense of gratitude that the students, colleagues, and
friends of Fr. Sidney H. Griffith offer this Festschrift on the occasion of his 80th
birthday. This collection of articles on the Christian Arabic heritage is a small
token of appreciation for the gift of his life, faith, and scholarship.
This Festschrift honors Fr. Sidney’s contribution to Christian Arabic Studies.
Fr. Sidney is considered the effective founder of the study of Christian Arabic
in the United States, and his work has had a profound impact worldwide.
Beginning with his PhD dissertation on the controversial theology of Theodore
Ab? Qurra (1978), Fr. Sidney has made the world of Syriac and Arabic-speaking
Christians of the ?Abb?sid period and beyond accessible to a wide variety of
readers. His knowledge of history and theology, combined with a deep grasp
of Syriac and Arabic, has shed a light on the complex changes that took place
as Muslim dominance over ancient Christian spaces deepened. Fr. Sidney’s
generosity, insight, and fairness towards his subjects has fashioned a more complete
picture of the multifaceted milieu of the eighth and ninth-century Near
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