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In the 1st century of Islam, many of the former Christian Roman Empire, from Syria to Spain, used to be introduced below Muslim keep an eye on in a conquest of unparalleled proportions. faced by way of the realm of Islam, numerous medieval Christians skilled a profound ambivalence, awed through its opulence, they have been additionally afflicted via its rival claims to the non secular inheritance of Abraham and Jesus and humiliated by means of its social subjugation of non-Muslim minorities. a few switched over. Others took up hands. nonetheless others, the topics of John Tolan's examine of anti-Muslim polemics in medieval Europe, undertook to assault Islam and its such a lot brilliant avatar, the saracen, with words.

In an attempt to make experience of God's obvious abandonment of Christendom in want of a dynamic and increasing Muslim civilization, ecu writers distorted the lessons of Islam and caricatured its believers in a number of methods. What ideological reasons did those portrayals serve? and the way, in flip, did Muslims view Christianity? emotions of contention, contempt, and superiority existed on each side, tinged or tempered from time to time with emotions of doubt, inferiority, interest, or admiration. Tolan indicates how Christian responses to Islam replaced from the 7th to 13th centuries, via fast-charging crusades and spirit-crushing defeats, crystallizing into polemical photos later drawn upon by means of Western authors within the fourteenth to 20th centuries. Saracens explores the social and ideological makes use of of contempt, explaining how the denigration of the opposite can be utilized to shield one's personal highbrow building of the world.

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