Friday, March 30, 2012

Theodore Abu-Qurra

Theodore Abu-Qurra (᾽Αβουκαρα̑), theologian; born in Edessa between ca.740 and 750, died between 820 and 825. Theodore was a monk in the Lavra of St. Sabas, later for a time bishop of Harran, and then itinerant controversialist. He wrote in Syriac, Arabic, and perhaps Greek, although his works preserved in Greek may be translations. In some cases there are parallel Greek and Arabic versions of sayings attributed to him. Influenced by Leontios of Byzantium and John of Damascus (the suggestion that Theodore was John's disciple is questionable), Theodore dedicated himself to the defense of Orthodoxy. A passionate polemicist, he argued against Judaism, Islam, and Christian heresies. It is not excluded that he participated in a dispute with several brilliant Muslim scholars at the caliph's court. Theodore developed John's views in support of icon veneration; he also defended the importance of the church councils. His philosophical concepts are very close to those of Leontios and John, and it is plausible that the treatise On the Heresies, ascribed in some MSS to Leontios, belonged in fact to Theodore, whereas J. Speigl attributes it to another Theodore, of the late 6th C.

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