Quia nolunt dimittere credere pro credere, sed credere per intelligere: Ramon Llull and his Jewish Contemporaries
By Harvey Hames
Revista Mirabilia, vol.5 (2005)
Abstract: Unlike most of his contemporaries, Ramon Llull understood the need of actually engaging with the beliefs of his Jewish and Muslim contemporaries, rather than just with their texts, if he wanted to attain their conversion to Christianity. Coming from the Iberian peninsula where new theologies like Kabbalah were gaining ground among the Jews, Llull harnessed its central tenets in order to convince the Jews, by “necessary reason”, of the inherent truth of Christianity. This article discusses the intellectual milieau in which Llull developed his Art, shows how he intended it to be used, and brings a Jewish response by Solomon ibn Adret, leader of the Jewish community in Catalonia to the challenge posed by Llull.