The conversion and destruction of the infidels’ in the works of Roger Bacon
By Aleksey Klemeshov
Religion and power in Europe: conflict and convergence, edited by Joaquim Carvalho (Pisa University Press, 2007)
Abstract: The chapter is devoted to the views of Roger Bacon, a Franciscan thinker and scientist of the 13th century, on the conversion of infidels. His position was closely connected to his eschatological and astrological views and his conviction of the Anti-Christ’s coming in the non-distant future, the cause for uniting the Catholic world. Bacon proposed ways and means for the most effective conversion of infidels (the study of languages, preaching, rational arguments) and for the destruction of those who could not be converted (from optical weapons to ‘Greek fire’). The author notes the similitude between Bacon’s views and those of authors such as Thomas Aquinas, Ramon Lull and Pierre Dubois.