"I Attack You With Words" - Medieval Lessons for European Apologetics


When Peter the Venerable wanted Christians to engage in critical dialogue with Muslims he had to realise that "there was no one who answered, since there was no one who understood." So he commissioned the first Latin translation of the Quran and tried to convince the brightest mind of his time to refute it. We can learn from his example and also from his failures in these areas: criticism of the crusading ideology, confidence in rational argumentation across worldview boundaries, efforts to argue from common ground. In this talk we will also detect some of Peter's shortcomings by comparing his argumentation to that of four other apologetic works from other eras.