Date of Award

4-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Berkhofer

Third Advisor

Dr. Rand Johnson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Liber de participatione christianorum et saracenorum (1312) is a previously untranslated petition addressed to Frederick III of Sicily in which Ramon Llull compares the Islamic and Christian religions. In this text Llull praises the ordinances passed at the Council of Vienne and uses Aristotelian syllogistic proofs to argue for the veracity of the Trinity and the Incarnation in the effort to convert Muslims to Christianity. In response to Llull's tendency to vacillate between incongruent ideas of peaceful persuasion to forced conversion and crusade, a wide range of interpretations have appeared. Rather than analyzing these works in the light of the complex and volatile political and religious climate of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century crusader Europe, many historians have elected to view these documents as undeniable proof of Llull's anti-Judaic and anti- Islamic viewpoint. Through an analysis of the events which directly preceded the Council of Vienne, it is clear that political relationships greatly affected the content, motivation and tone of De participatione. Llull additionally was willing to engage with non- Christians so as to understand their reasoning and mindset. As such Llull's techniques and texts represent a more irenic and comparative analysis of Islam than either his predecessors or contemporaries.

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