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Europe and the Islamic WorldA History$
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John Tolan, Henry Laurens, and Gilles Veinstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147055

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147055.001.0001

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Antagonistic Figures

Antagonistic Figures

(p.163) Chapter 8 Antagonistic Figures
Europe and the Islamic World

John Tolan

Gilles Veinstein

Henry Laurens

, Jane Marie Todd
Princeton University Press

This chapter delineates all the forms of antagonism that, at the ideological level, irremediably pitted the Christians and Muslims against each other. The Christians had rejected Islam from its first appearance and continued to do so throughout the Middle Ages. Initially, they even denied it the status of religion, seeing it only as a heresy or a form of paganism or idolatry. When they had to consider Islam a religion, they could only denounce it, given that Christianity alone was true. In addition to being false, Islam was also a mortal danger: as a universal religion, it claimed to be superior to Christianity and intended to take its place. It was thus imperative to stand up to Islam and combat it by every means. The very survival of Christianity was at stake, and therefore humanity's salvation.

Keywords:   ideological antagonism, Christianity, Islam, Middle Ages, modern age, religious ideology, schism, religious tensions

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