This wide-ranging study of medieval Europe's response to the challenge of Islam examines the relationship between ideas of crusade and mission, between European projects for military conquest and those for the conversion of Muslims to Christianity. Covering the years from the emergence of Islam to the fourteenth century, Benjamin Z. Kedar discusses not only the crusades and the Crusading Kingdom of Jerusalem but also the confrontation of Catholics and Muslims in Sicily and Spain.
Originally published in 1984.
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"[Professor Kedar] is concerned with the essential dilemma the Christians faced, should they attempt to convert the infidels or exterminate them by the sword, or was it possible to combine these two approaches and if so how? Amongst those who wrote on the subject, there was no question that Islam should be attacked or undermined; it was not the overall objective which was under discussion but rather the methods which should be used. . . . Professor Kedar has produced a superbly researched discussion of these attitudes . . . there is a degree of sharpness in his discussion of the Mendicants or Ramon Llull . . . which is in many ways refreshing, and he challenges the idea that they represented any real attempt to mitigate the aggressive stance of Medieval Christianity."--Hugh Kennedy, History
"This book is a major addition to the literature on medieval religious ideology. . . . Its subject is important, its arguments compelling, its scholarship impeccable."--James A. Brundage, Church History