RLB247 Christians and the Others in the Middle Ages

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Jana Valtrová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Šárka Londa Vondráčková
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
each even Monday 9:10–10:45 K32
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 1/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course focuses on the relations of medieval European Christendom towards Judaism, Islam, Eastern Christianity and religions of Asia. Using selected examples the course offers a basic overview of theological and legal positions within the historical contexts of the Mediterranean and Asia. Based on written sources of different genres the course also shows a variety of practical problems, such as the language barrier and the role of stereotypes connected with non-Christians. Discussions of current trends in this scholarly field are an intergal part of the course.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to:
  • understand medieval terminology and typology concerning the non-Christians;
  • understand the historical context of the development of Christian positions toward particular groups of non-Christians and identify their different scale;
  • learn the types of sources connected to the topic of the course;
  • reflect upon current scholarly trends in this field.
  • Syllabus
    • 0. Introductory lecture;
    • 1. Medieval imago mundi and the nations on its outskirts;
    • 2. Foundations of the attitudes of Latin Christians towards non-Christians - terminology and typology;
    • 3. Legal issues connected to non-Christians;
    • 4. Study of Oriental languages in medieval Europe;
    • 5. Christian-Jewish polemics;
    • 6. Christian-Muslim polemics;
    • 7. Mission and martyrdom;
    • 8. Latin Christians and the Eastern Christianity - the uneasy relationship;
    • 9. Christians and non-Christians in Asia;
    • 10. Image of non-Christians in literature and art;
    • 11. Czech medieval culture and non-Christians+
    • 12. Final discussion.
      required literature
    • VALTROVÁ, Jana. Středověká setkání s "jinými". Modloslužebníci, židé, saracéni a heretici v misionářských zprávách o Asii (Medieval Encounters with the Other. Idolatres, Jews, Saracens and Heretics in Missionary Reports about Asia). 1. vyd. Praha: Argo, 2011. 209 pp. Každodenní život 47. ISBN 978-80-257-0399-1. info
    • TOLAN, John Victor. Saracens : Islam in the medieval European imagination. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. xxiii, 372. ISBN 9780231123334. info
      recommended literature
    • Jews and Christians in medieval Europe : the historiographical legacy of Bernhard Blumenkranz. Edited by Philippe Buc - Martha Keil - John Victor Tolan. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016. 383 stran. ISBN 9782503565590. info
    • COHEN, Mark R. Pod křížem a půlměsícem : Židé ve středověku. Translated by Jiří Blažek. Vyd. 1. Praha: Vyšehrad, 2013. 393 s. ISBN 9788074293528. info
    • MENDEL, Miloš, Bronislav OSTŘANSKÝ and Tomáš RATAJ. Islám v srdci Evropy : vlivy islámské civilizace na dějiny a současnost českých zemí. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 2007. 499 s. ISBN 9788020015549. info
    • TOLAN, John Victor. Petrus Alfonsi and his medieval readers. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993. xv, 288. ISBN 0813012392. info
    Teaching methods
    Lectures, commented readings of sources, discussions.
    Assessment methods
    Contents of the semester:
    Lectures, class discussions.
    (a) two written commentaries (1-2 pages) to articles; active participation in discussions over these texts is expected (40 %)
    (b) a detailed annotation of a monograph (6-7 pages) (60 %)
    See Study materials for detailed information.
    Language of instruction
    Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
    Study Materials
    The course is taught once in two years.
    Information on course enrolment limitations: Zápis mimo religionistiku je podmíněn souhlasem vyučující.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2008, Spring 2015, Autumn 2019, Spring 2021.
    • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2017, recent)
    • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2017/RLB247