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Religious Toleration in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age

An Anthology of Literary, Theological, and Philosophical Texts

Albrecht Classen

More than ever before do we need the critical engagement with religious tolerance. Historical perspectives allow us to gain access to the discourse on this universal, often very contested topic. Already the Middle Ages and the early modern age witnessed the emergence of significant voices addressing toleration, if not even tolerance. This anthology opens many new perspectives toward this centrally important topic, adding a cultural-historical, religious, literary, and philosophical dimension mostly unknown today.

„Albrecht Classen reminds us in this volume that, "we all know just too well that the survival of the human species and its future development depends existentially on its ability and willingness to subscribe to the fundamental ideals of at least toleration, if not tolerance." As with others of Classen's works on the full range of medieval and early modern culture, this book could not be more timely or more urgently needed, especially for its positive approach to a highly volatile topic."

Fidel Fajardo-Acosta, Creighton University, Omaha, NE

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Introduction: From Toleration to Tolerance: From the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century

Overview: Introductory Case Studies: Toleration and Tolerance Throughout the Centuries: Three Cases

Holy Scriptures: Bible, Qur’an

Walther von der Vogelweide (ca. 1170–ca. 1220): “The Palestine Song” (ca. 1215)

Wolfram von Eschenbach: A Middle High German Poet Seeks out the Orient (ca. 1205–ca. 1220)

Rudolf von Ems’s Der guote Gêrhart: Experimentation with Tolerance in an Early Thirteenth-Century Middle High German Romance

Jans Enikel: A German World Chronicler Reflecting on the Differences in Religion

Ramon Llull: Offering a Tolerant Dialogue in the Late Middle Ages (ca. 1272–1274)

Aucassin and Nicolette: Playful and Loving Embrace of Foreignness

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