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‘In istis partibus sunt multe septe ydolatrarum diversa credentium…’ Conceptualization of religious plurality in the medieval Latin travel accounts of Asia, conference : Encountering Other People Material Religion and Cultural Exchanges in Medieval Accounts of Asia



Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Intensive contact between Europe and Asia developed during the 13th and 14th centuries, partly as a reaction to the Mongol expansion, but also thanks to the missionary ambitions of the two newly founded mendicant orders, intensive trade connections, and the European involvement in the Crusades. The contact with Asian dominions, cultures, and religions represented a unique experience for medieval European travellers on many levels. The travels to Asia, namely the far eastern parts of the Mongol empire and India challenged not only European traditional lore about the East but also put the travellers into unique situations regarding their conceptualization of a “religion”. In these regions, the travellers experienced officially acknowledged religious plurality and coexistence of a variety of traditions. This puzzling experience of societies where “there are many sects”, contrasting to the medieval Church's request for exclusivity, was even intensified by the confusing image of these “sects” as somewhat distortions of Christianity. Many of these local traditions resembled, in way of belief, or practice, Christianity. This experience problematized the so-far existing category of “idolatry” as simply a system that promotes belief and worship of many “false idols”. Based on the accounts and letters of the Franciscan (e.g. Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, Willem van Rubroeck, Giovanni da Montecorvino, Odorico da Pordenone, Giovanni da Marignolli) and Dominican (Riccoldo da Monte di Croce and Jordan Catalan) friars as well as the account of Marco Polo, this paper aims to investigate the authors' conceptualizations of religious diversity in Asian societies and its interpretations within their historical contexts.
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