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Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-FreinetHagiography and the Problem of Islam in Medieval Europe$
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Scott G. Bruce

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452994

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452994.001.0001

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Peter the Venerable, Butcher of God

Peter the Venerable, Butcher of God

(p.70) Chapter 3 Peter the Venerable, Butcher of God
Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-Freinet

Scott G. Bruce

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents a new interpretation of the polemical career of Peter the Venerable. Some scholars have attributed coherence to Peter’s writings against heretics, Jews, and Muslims, and have portrayed him as a sympathetic figure whose “tolerant” views toward Islam signalled modern sensibilities. In contrast, the chapter contends that Peter’s work regarding the Muslims differed significantly from his other treatises for two reasons. First, unlike his writings against heretics and Jews, Peter’s pastoral approach toward Islam had no precedent in the Latin language. Second, his application of reason to his arguments was not of a tolerant man. Peter only turned to words in his confrontation against Muslims when the weapons of the crusaders had proven to be ineffective against them.

Keywords:   Peter the Venerable, heretics, Jews, Muslims, Islam, crusaders

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