By M. Frassetto, D. Blanks

Western perspectives of Islam in Medieval and Early smooth Europe considers a number of the attitudes of ecu spiritual and secular writers in the direction of Islam throughout the center a while and Early smooth interval. studying works from England, France, Italy, the Holy Lands, and Spain, the essays during this quantity discover the reactions of Westerners to the tradition and faith of Islam. the various works studied exhibit the hostility towards Islam of Europeans and the production of unfavourable stereotypes of Muslims via Western writers. those essays additionally demonstrate makes an attempt at lodging and knowing that stand unlike the present hostility that existed then and, in many ways, exists nonetheless this day.

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Extra resources for Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Perception of Other

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As we saw above, those in The Moslem World circle had been publishing articles on Luther and Islam since before World War II,125 but a new critical apparatus was brought to bear on the problem in the 1950s and 1960s, along with a certain irony and detachment that was lacking in earlier studies. The sectarianism, at any rate, was far less palpable. 126 Not all of it was particularly trustworthy. 131 Setton argues that most Germans did not give much thought to the Turks at all until after they defeated the Hungarians at Mohács in 1526.

As John Van Engen has pointed out, “In its most basic sense . . 154 Unfortunately, the recognition that all representations are representations does not get us very far. More than anything else, our attempts to recover past attitudes desperately lack a sufficient theoretical framework. Said spotted the trail but fell into the trap. ”155 In his follow-up to Theodor Arno’s classic study on ethnocentrism,156 M. 157 Scholars interested in cross-cultural encounters should integrate this type of work into their research.

From a hard-hearted, rather elitist position, he moves to an extremely sympathetic view of the medieval European. If it were not for the thoroughness of his research and the profound familiarity with the sources, one would think that this study was written by a different man. The harangues disappear. So does the insistence that European attitudes were homogenous. There is an acute awareness of the differences between the intellectuals and the common folk, and a distinction is made between the sources themselves and the ways in which people actually thought and acted.

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