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A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Imam Walk into a Coffee Shop: Talking about Other People’s Religions in the Middle Ages

A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Imam Walk into a Coffee Shop: Talking about Other People’s Religions in the Middle Ages

Paper given by Tom Burman

Delivered at the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters on September 09, 2017


Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived side by side for centuries in the medieval Mediterranean world and, especially among the decently educated, knew a lot about each others’ beliefs and practices. This lecture focuses on three medieval scholars – one rabbi, one priest, and one imam – who had a lot to say about their rival religions, arguing that there is much more going on when they did so than just ugly denunciation. Sometimes, for example, by attacking someone else’s religion, such scholars were really attacking members of their own faith community, and often their attacks on a rival religion wound up partially validating its very existence.

Tom Burnam is Director of the Medieval Institute and Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

 

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