D'AltonJ-Thesis submitted-FINAL (1)_Redacted.pdf (3 MB)
Download file

The concept of jihād in pre-Islamic Syrian Christian and early Sufi Muslim writings

Download (3 MB)
posted on 01.03.2019, 02:32 by JOHN D'ALTON
In the Arabic version of the account of Jesus’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus engages in a struggle or jihād. Arabic-speaking Christians drew on pre-Islamic Syrian Christian metaphors of inner spiritual struggle, and this parallels early Sufi Muslim usage. My thesis investigates the wider range of terms associated with this imagery such as fight, battle, sword, shield, race, fortress, and wounds. There is much correlation between pre-Islamic Syrian Christian and Sufi Muslim conceptions of inner struggle, which informs understandings of early Christian-Muslim relations and how jihād in Sufi Islam should be interpreted today.


Principal supervisor

Constant Jan Mews

Additional supervisor 1

Aydogan Kars

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts

Usage metrics