Writing About the ‘Other’: Christians and Muslims in the Safavid (Persian) Empire during the 17th Century

Dr John Chesworth
Research Officer, School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham

The paper introduces the work of the research project ‘Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History’, which brings together the known writings by Christians and Muslims about and against one another for the period 600-1914. The project’s findings are published by Brill, as part of the History of Christian-Muslim Relations series, the first volume was published in 2009. The approach used in the project and the method of presentation of the results are exemplified using material from the most recent volume, 10, which covers the Ottoman and Safavid Empires (1600-1700); examples cited are from Armenian, Georgian, Safavid and Western sources. The paper will address the following questions: What did the Safavid court know about Christianity? How were Christians treated by Safavids? How did Armenians and Georgians respond to their treatment under the Safavids?