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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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Hagiography and the Muslim Policy of Peter the Venerable

Hagiography and the Muslim Policy of Peter the Venerable

(p.100) Chapter 4 Hagiography and the Muslim Policy of Peter the Venerable
Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-Freinet

Scott G. Bruce

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the impact of the stories about Maiolus’ kidnapping on the formation of Peter the Venerable’s enterprise to convert Muslims to Christianity by means of rational argument. The earliest account of Maiolus’ life sparked a late tenth-century debate on religious truth between the abbot of Cluny and his Muslim captors, which had a powerful influence on Peter’s thinking about how to refute Islamic beliefs in the aftermath of the Second Crusade. The chapter studies the use of reason in polemical writings against Jews and heretics to evaluate the influence of contemporary intellectual currents in the shaping of Peter’s thoughts. It concludes by making a case for the circulation of stories about Maiolus among twelfth-century Cluniacs, particularly of the Life of Maiolus during Peter’s abbacy.

Keywords:   Maiolus, kidnapping, Peter the Venerable, Muslims, Christianity, Islamic beliefs, Second Crusade

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