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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1211: Identity and Othering, V: Christian Defamations and Appropriations of Islam

Wednesday 15 July 2009, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Sini Kangas, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
Paper 1211-aConversion, Collaboration, and Confrontation: Islam in the Register of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the 14th Century
(Language: English)
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Institut für Byzanzforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Social History
Paper 1211-bThe Legend of Mohamed in the Medieval Christian Thought of Dante Alighieri
(Language: English)
Claudia Di Fonzo, Istituto di Studi Umanistici, Università di Firenze
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Italian, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 1211-cAcceptance and Rejection of Ottoman Power in the Late Medieval Kingdom of Hungary and its Orthodox Vassal States: The Hunyadi Crusaders and their Ottoman Counterparts
(Language: English)
Alexandru Simon, Center for Transylvanian Studies, Romanian Academy of Sciences, Cluj-Napoca

One of the principal means by which the Christian orthodoxies defined themselves was through their defamation of Islam. This session explores aspects of this central cultural issue, with approaches drawing on archival, literary, and visual sources.

Paper -a:
The Register of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which contains many valuable documents of the period 1315-1402, is one of the most important sources for the (church) history of this time of renewed Muslim expansion at Byzantium's cost. In this paper it will be analyzed how Islam is being described in those documents in regard to the terminology and the framework of traditional Byzantine polemics (Islam as a Christian heresy or a discrete religion?). Last aspect of survey will be the reaction of the Byzantine laymen but also of the lower and high clerics to the Islamic expansion - whether in form of confrontation, collaboration, or even conversion.

Paper -b:
In the paper will be showed the Christian medieval thinking about the Islam and the diffusion of the legend of Mohamed; it will be clear the way of thinking of the most famous poet of Italian literature of the medieval time (Dante Alighieri) and his views and regarding Muslim religion and the idea that it was an heretic version of the Christian religion.

Paper -c:
The paper attempts to explore how royal Hungarian ideology, politics and propaganda: moved from strongly rejecting Islamic Ottoman power to promoting the 'story' of the Ottoman blood-relatives of John Hunyadi and King Matthias Corvinus. The paper further investigates how this evolution affected the 'Ottoman stands' of the Orthodox vassal states of the Hungarian realm, a realm that nonetheless upheld and continued to claim the status of Christendom's bulwark throughtout this peculiar evolution.