Majmu‘ Usul Al-Din

MAJMU‘ USUL AL-DIN (Compendium of the Fundamentals of Religion)

A Coptic summa theologica in five parts and seventy chapters, written by al-MU’TAMAN ABU IBRAHIM IBN AL-‘ASSAL somewhat before 1260. According to G. Graf (1947) it has a compact, systematic structure and omits church historical material. The introduction has an exposition of the aim and arrangement of the work and a citation of the sources used, along with a list of thirty Christian Oriental writers, past and present.

There is a preparatory sketch of elementary logic and tutorial material on concepts, judgments, and argumentation. The main parts include these subjects: Part 1, dogmatics of general subjects, creator and creation, man, revelation, and its intelligibility and credibility; Part 2, the Trinity; Part 3, Christology; Part 4, church service and customs, treated uncritically and relying on miracle stories from apocryphal literature; Part 5, eschatology. Al-Mu’taman cites the authors he uses by name and repeats the source material completely or in abstracts.

VINCENT FREDERICK