Hagiography and Religious Polemic in the Cluniac Tradition
This introductory chapter states the book’s aim, which is to study the role of hagiographical literature in the formulation of Peter the Venerable’s approach to Islam. In the twelfth century, the lives of the saints and the homilies of the church fathers imbued the imagination of the monks of Cluny, including their venerable abbot. Works of hagiography and other devotional genres played a vital role in the formation of monastic thought in the abbeys of Western Europe. The chapter explains that evidence for the circulation of stories about Abbot Maiolus in the twelfth century is equally evocative. Such was his renown that Peter boldly stated that, with the exception of the Virgin Mary, more legends were told about the virtues of Maiolus throughout Europe than about any other saint in Christendom.
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