Christian C. Sahner is associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present.
"In this book, Sahner mounts a pathbreaking investigation of
Christian self-sacrifice under early Islam. He affords us a fresh
perspective on the formation of caliphal society and state, and on
how the blood of martyrs has seeded the Church--before Constantine,
under Islam, and into our own day."--Garth Fowden, University of
"Narratives of violence dominate the public understanding of Islam. Sahner draws upon medieval Christian narratives of conversion, apostasy, and martyrdom to great effect. The result is a subtle but bold account of violence and belief in an earlier age of religious tumult."--Chase F. Robinson, author of Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives
"This is the first book-length study of Christian martyrdom in the early Islamic period. It deals with religious conversion and cultural change in the period of late antiquity and early Islam, and looks at not just individuals of the period, but also the world in which they lived. Offering a new conceptual framework and novel usage of primary sources, this original and important work asks all the right questions."--Nadia Maria El Cheikh, American University of Beirut
"With broad coverage and beautiful writing, this accomplished book presents the first synthetic historical analysis of Christian martyrdom during the formative period of Islam, namely the first three centuries after the Arab conquest. Sahner has done a great service to all those working on the cult of saints in the early medieval eastern Mediterranean and interested in understanding Christian-Arabic literature."--Arietta Papaconstantinou, University of Reading
"The Spectator's Books of the Year"