Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$21.78
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.86
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $3.86   
  • New (5) from $28.88   
  • Used (13) from $3.86   

Overview

In the first century of Islam, most of the former Christian Roman Empire, from Syria to Spain, was brought under Muslim control in a conquest of unprecedented proportions. Confronted by the world of Islam, countless medieval Christians experienced a profound ambivalence, awed by its opulence, they were also troubled by its rival claims to the spiritual inheritance of Abraham and Jesus and humiliated by its social subjugation of non-Muslim minorities. Some converted. Others took up arms. Still others, the subjects of John Tolan's study of anti-Muslim polemics in medieval Europe, undertook to attack Islam and its most vivid avatar, the saracen, with words.

In an effort to make sense of God's apparent abandonment of Christendom in favor of a dynamic and expanding Muslim civilization, European writers distorted the teachings of Islam and caricatured its believers in a variety of ways. What ideological purposes did these portrayals serve? And how, in turn, did Muslims view Christianity? Feelings of rivalry, contempt, and superiority existed on both sides, tinged or tempered at times with feelings of doubt, inferiority, curiosity, or admiration. Tolan shows how Christian responses to Islam changed from the seventh to thirteenth centuries, through fast-charging crusades and spirit-crushing defeats, crystallizing into polemical images later drawn upon by Western authors in the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Saracens explores the social and ideological uses of contempt, explaining how the denigration of the other can be used to defend one's own intellectual construction of the world.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice

A significant contribution to the study of Islam's place in the medieval Christian imagination, this work is highly recommended.

Speculum
Tolan's book is welcome as a rare systematic treatment of medieval Christian attitudes toward Muslims.... Tolan's remarks invite us to explore the important question of why that is so.

— Tomaz Mastnak

History
Saracens contains comprehensive notes, a thorough bibliography, and an excellent index... A useful summary of the current state of hitoriography in the field.

— William E. Watson

American Historical Review
Tolan's model for Christian attitudes toward Islam is the reactions of early Christians to the Roman Empire... Tolan's book is full of interesting details on individual thinkers' views on Islam and provides a welcome addition.

— Anna Sapir Abulafia

Saudi Aramco World

Medievalist Tolan shows how the relatively fluid European beliefs about Islam turned rigid in the 13th century, leading to strict laws that separated Christians from Muslims and produced even greater distortions in perception.

Muslim World Book Review
Had the late Edward Said and Daniel Norman collaborated to produce a volume incorporating their particular hermeneutical expertise and scholastic grasp of religious polemics it may well have looked something similar to John V. Tolan's Saracens.... Tolan's work, which is superbly researched, explores the plethora of distorted representations of Islam perpetuated throughout the period.

— Mohammed Siddique Seddon

Riligious Studies Review
The best of all recently published books on Christian-Islamic relations.

— Gregory Miller

Catholic Historical Review
A thoroughgoing reference work like Saracens was long overdue; it is also quite timely.

— David Blanks

Speculum - Tomaz Mastnak

Tolan's book is welcome as a rare systematic treatment of medieval Christian attitudes toward Muslims.... Tolan's remarks invite us to explore the important question of why that is so.

History - William E. Watson

Saracens contains comprehensive notes, a thorough bibliography, and an excellent index... A useful summary of the current state of hitoriography in the field.

American Historical Review - Anna Sapir Abulafia

Tolan's model for Christian attitudes toward Islam is the reactions of early Christians to the Roman Empire... Tolan's book is full of interesting details on individual thinkers' views on Islam and provides a welcome addition.

Muslim World Book Review - Mohammed Siddique Seddon

Had the late Edward Said and Daniel Norman collaborated to produce a volume incorporating their particular hermeneutical expertise and scholastic grasp of religious polemics it may well have looked something similar to John V. Tolan's Saracens.... Tolan's work, which is superbly researched, explores the plethora of distorted representations of Islam perpetuated throughout the period.

Riligious Studies Review - Gregory Miller

The best of all recently published books on Christian-Islamic relations.

Catholic Historical Review - David Blanks

A thoroughgoing reference work like Saracens was long overdue; it is also quite timely.

Choice

A significant contribution to the study of Islam's place in the medieval Christian imagination, this work is highly recommended.

Booknews
Tolan, whose earlier work is devoted to the Muslims in Spain, has gathered Western medieval sources up to 1300 describing Islam, both the religion and its adherents, and attempting to comprehend Islam's place in the world. Chapters on the 13th century analyze the writing of the missionary Ramon Llull, the views of other missionaries, and the official views of their orders, the Franciscans and the Dominicans. Writings included from the 7th- 13th centuries consider the Muslims in Spain, Islam as heresy (a constant motif), stereotypes that ascribe practices of pagan idolatry to Muslims, and the Crusades to the Holy Land. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231123334
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John V. Tolan is Maître de Conférences en histoire medievale, Department d'histoire, Université de Nantes. He is the author of Petrus Alfonsi and His Medieval Readers and editor of Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam: A Collection of Essays.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Riccoldo's Predicament or, How to Explain Away the Successes of a Flourishing Rival CivilizationPart 1: Foundations (Seventh--Eighth Centuries) 1: God and History in the Christian West c. 6002: Islamic Dominion and the Religious Other3: Early Eastern Christian Reactions to IslamPart 2: Forging Polemical Images (Eighth -- Twelfth Centuries) 4: Western Christian Responses to Islam (Eighth -- Ninth Centuries)5: Saracens as Pagans6: Muhammad, Heresiarch (Twelfth Century)Part 3: Thirteenth-Century Dreams of Conquest and Conversion 7: The Muslim in the Ideologies of Thirteenth-Century Christian Spain8: Apocalyptic Fears and Hopes Inspired by the Thirteenth-Century Crusades9: Franciscan Missionaries Seeking the Martyr's Palm10: The Dominican Missionary Strategy11: From Verdant Grove to Dark Prison: Realms of Mission in Ramon Llull

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)