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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 Religious Polemic in the Cluniac Tradition

(p.1) Introduction
Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-Freinet

Scott G. Bruce

Cornell University Press

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.

Keywords:   hagiographical literature, Peter the Venerable, Islam, monks of Cluny, Abbot Maiolus, Christendom, Virgin Mary

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