The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cordovan councils in the mid 200s / 800s

Catholic Encyclopedia:

Of the early synods held at Cordova, two are important, those of 839 and 852. The Acts of the former were first printed by Flórez (España sagrada, XV; Hefele, IV, 99). It was held against fanatical heretics, probably from Northern Africa, and known as "Casiani", who professed loose doctrines regarding marriage, rejected veneration of relics, demanded more rigour in fasting, declared unclean certain foods, insisted on receiving the Eucharistic Host each in his own hand, etc. The synod of 852 reproved those Christians who voluntarily sought the occasion of martyrdom and declared that such had no right to the veneration due to martyrs (Mansi, XIV, 970; Hefele, IV, 179).

Given my research, it is the 839 that stands out (also, I already knew roughly about 852 from J Tolan's Saracens). So I went looking for Flórez and Hefele.

For "Flórez" I turned up Concilium Cordubense "Era 877" (read, 839), adversus Acephalos Congregatum. I am told that a superior edition exists in Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1 (Madrid: 1973), 135-41; I shall take their word for it. Sadly for "Hefele" I could not find which text was meant. I did blunder into Hefele's famous History of the Councils of the church IV but I did not see the relevant synods there, nor in volume V.

What brought on this episode of research, was Johannes Thomas's article about whether the Umayyad state in Spain was truly "Islamic" at its outset (711-861...ish). I ran across this at the anti-Islamic kook site inarah.de.

Where Thomas (at least) isn't a kook, is where he posits a spiritual borderland in Spain: between the local Christianity - Catholic - and the non-Catholic Syrian Arab newcomers. Some of the latter may have been recognisably Muslim... some. On the Christian side, their reaction to the "Casiani" reminds me of those Nestorian synods in Mesopotamia against the "hanpé" and the "hanapûtâ", some generations prior. This is before we even get into the para-Islamic poetry attributed to Umayya bin Abi'l-Salt, or the case of Chase Robinson's Jazira "Shaharija".

Thomas is onto something. Before we start pondering that "Islam didn't exist", it's worthwhile first finding where para-Islam existed and marking out what this might be.


posted by Zimri on 22:46 | link | 0 comments

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