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The hero meets his match: Cultural encounters in narratives of wars against Muslims

Nicholson, Helen Jane 2013. The hero meets his match: Cultural encounters in narratives of wars against Muslims. In: Jensen, Kurt Villads, Salonen, Kirsi and Vogt, Helle eds. Cultural Encounters during the Crusades: Proceedings of the First Medieval Conference at the Danish Institute in Damascus, 2009, University of Southern Denmark Studies in History and Social Sciences, vol. 445. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, pp. 115-118.

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In western European Catholic writing of the middle ages there was a multiplicity of different depictions of the Muslims. This article considers some of those in which Christian came face-to-face with Muslim, and did not emerge the victor. Western European depictions of Muslims showed admiration for their courage and skill in battle, and some writers genuinely believed that the two religions could reach peace – although most of them thought that this could come about only if Muslims converted to Christianity. Some argued that Muslims would not convert to Christianity because Christians gave such a poor example of their faith. Some utilised the figure of the Muslim to criticise western European standards of behaviour. But in so doing they admitted that Muslim military power could be superior to Christian, and even that on some occasions the Muslims could occupy the moral high ground. Hence the Muslims could become judges of Christians, as in Antoine de la Salle’s story 'Jehan de Saintré' the sultan is witness of the battle between Jehan and the renegade Christian knights.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chansons de geste, cultural encounters, Saladin, third crusade
Publisher: University Press of Southern Denmark
ISBN: 9788776746599
Funders: Danish Institute in Damascus
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:41

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