The contributions to this book explore various questions concerning religious aspects and references in non-religious language, whether in idioms, place names, economic discourses or political rhetoric, and non-religious (among other) aspects and references in religious language, whether in prayers, sacred texts, rituals and religious treatises. The research presented applies a variety of methods, ranging from discourse analysis to onomastics, from sociolinguistics to metaphor analysis. The data come from languages such as Aramaic, Bosnian, German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Catalan, Croatian, Latin, Portuguese, Ladino and Spanish.
I attack you with words. Peter the Venerable’s Contra sectam saracenorum as a medieval approach to inter-religious argumentation (Christian Bensel)
Christian Bensel I attack you with words Peter the Venerable’s Contra sectam saracenorum as a medieval approach to inter-religious argumentation Introduction A tension between truth claims is inevitable when worldviews come into contact. Peter the Venerable’s Contra sectam saracenorum, written around 1155, exemplifies an attempt to resolve this tension by means of argumentation across religious and linguistic barriers in a setting that is hostile to other worldviews and dialogue. Argumentation is linguistic behaviour that aims to make an addressee consent to the truth or falsity of a proposition by backing or rebutting that proposition (cf. Kienpointner 1992b: 17, Walton 1990: 411). If a speaker wants to do this in an honest, non-aggressive and plausible way, she or he can make use of a speech act which presents the disputed proposition as the conclusion of a deduction by explicitly mentioning or implying data and a warrant. A warrant is a statement or proposition that allows moving from data to conclusion (cf. Kienpointner 1992b: 15-30). Speech acts consisting of premise, warrant and conclusion are called arguments (cf. Kienpointner 1992b: 15-22 for a discussion of basic concepts). This paper investigates three aspects relevant to Peter the Venerable’s argumentation, starting with the assumptions and preconditions which led him to translate the Qur’an and write Contra sectam saracenorum (chapter 2). Peter’s statements about the framework of rational argu- mentation are evaluated with respect to the demands of honesty, non- violence and rationality (chapter 3). Comparing his text to a corpus of four works of similar...
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