Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Larry J. Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. E. Rozanne Elder

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin J. Wanner

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

This thesis examines the ways in which Ramon Llull, a late medieval missionary, thought the world could be converted to Latin Christianity. Llull’s 265 works outline a conversion program consisting of three types of plans: Mission, Art, and Crusade. Missionary plans prepare Christians to spread their faith through intellectual disputations in foreign lands. The Art is a philosophical system designed to show Latin Christianity is the only rational religion. Llull’s crusade strategies provide tactics to bring lands under Christian rule. Some scholars see Llull’s methods as evidence of tolerance in the Middle Ages; others find them inconsistent and utopian—disconnected from their author’s time. This thesis, however, argues that Llull was not tolerant, inconsistent, or utopian. Its evidence rests mainly on Llull’s Tractatus de modo convertendi infideles, Liber de fine, and Liber de acquisitione. These crusade treatises seem like unrealistic pieces of propaganda, but they, in fact, are the best summaries of Llull’s entire conversion program. Comparing them to earlier Lullian works shows the consistency of Llull’s thought. Contrasting them with crusade treatises by contemporary authors reveals Llull was irenic, not tolerant. Placing them in the context of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries demonstrates Llull’s ideas respond to contemporary religious, political, and military trends. Like its author, the Lullian conversion program is a product of its time.

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