THE NOTION OF ISLAM AS “HERESY” IN PETER THE VENERABLE’S WRITINGS IN THE HISTORICAL FRAME OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM IN THE MIDDLE AGE

Sabrina Lei

ABSTRACT
Peter the Venerable’s apologetic writings against Islam did not constitute a problematic document, as some scholars seem to suggest, related to a new style of approach to the Muslim world intended both as separate and opposite to the strictly military one, but could be instead interpreted as an ideological justification of a kind of “intellectual crusade” conducted by the clergy and rooted, according to the intention of the Abbot of Cluny, on a supposed “objective” knowledge of Islam. The composition of these texts is situated in the general frame of the Reconquista (722-1492) of the territories under the Islamic power by the Christian armies, having been written at the core of this historical process. Although some passages seem to manifest a wider pastoral interest, as addressed to the Muslim world as such, however a careful reading of the texts suggests a different interpretation. Actually, the writings of Peter the Venerable should be understood as a programmatic intellectual project aiming at the conversion of Muslims living in the territories reconquered by the Christian monarchs and, at the same time, at preserving the Christian populations from converting to Islam. The texts’ ideological frame is rooted in the notion of Islam as an “heresy” which, beyond a strict theological perspective, define the ideological asset of the Catholic Church in the midst of the struggle for the spiritual and consequentially political supremacy of the Christian world after the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the idea of Latinitas Cristiana, at the core of the notion of Europe as a singular political reality, as intended and promoted by the Papacy.

Keywords
Peter the Venerable, Crusaders, Reconquista, History of Christianity, Quran’ Latin translation.
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Details
Primary LanguageEnglish
SubjectsHistory
Journal SectionResearch Article
AuthorSabrina Lei
Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8085-9955
Quote
ISNADLei, Sabrina. “The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age”. International Research Journal of Islamic Civilization 1/1 (2021): 1-33.
APALei, Sabrina (2021). The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age. International Research Journal of Islamic Civilization, 1 (1), 1-33.
IEEES. Lei, “The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age”, International Research Journal of Islamic Civilization, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-33, Jan. 2021.
CHICAGOLei, S. “The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age”. International Research Journal of Islamic Civilization, 1 (2021): 1-33.
VancouverLei S. The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age. International Research Journal of Islamic Civilization. 2021; 1 (1): 1-33.
AMALei S. The notion of Islam as “Heresy” in Peter the Venerable’s Writings in the Historical Frame of the Conflict between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Age. IRJIC. 2021; 1 (1): 1-33.