Toleration and Tolerance in Medieval European Literature  book cover
1st Edition

Toleration and Tolerance in Medieval European Literature

Edited By

Albrecht Classen

ISBN 9780367787097
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
338 Pages

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Book Description

Toleration and Tolerance in Medieval European Literature aims to examine and unearth the critical investigations of toleration and tolerance presented in literary texts of the Middle Ages. In contrast to previous approaches, this volume identifies new methods of interpreting conventional classifications of toleration and tolerance through the emergence of multi-level voices in literary, religious, and philosophical discourses of authorities in medieval literature. Accordingly, this volume identifies two separate definitions of toleration and tolerance, the former as a representative of a majority group accepts a member of the minority group but still holds firmly to the believe that s/he is right and the other entirely wrong, and tolerance meaning that all faiths, convictions, and ideologies are treated equally, and the majority speaker is ready to accept that potentially his/her position is wrong. Applying these distinct differences in the critical investigation of interaction and representation in context, this book offers new insight into the tolerant attitudes portrayed in medieval literature of which regularly appealed, influenced and shaped popular opinions of the period.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents: History of Toleration and Tolerance:


I: Toleration and Tolerance: An Introduction

Historical, Religious, and Literary Reflections

II: History and Theory of Toleration and Tolerance:

Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern Ages:

Early Voices, Quiet and yet of Great Strength

III: Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Encounters with the Others

Emergence of Toleration and Tolerance in

the Early Thirteenth Century?

IV: A Brief Moment of Truce and Welcome:

Friendship Between the Muslim and the Christian

in Rudolf von Ems’s Der guote Gêrhart

V: Reaching out to the Other Side in Fourteenth-Century

Italian Literature: Literary Efforts to Establish Friendship

and Tolerant Relationships in Boccaccio’s Decameron

VI: The Foreign World and the Foreign Religion in Medieval Literature

Experiments in and Strategies with Toleration

A Pan-European Perspective on the ‘Good Heathen’

VII: Philosophical and Religious Outreaches to the Other Faiths

from the High to the Late Middle Ages: Peter Abelard,

Ramon Llull, and Nicholas of Cusa,

VIII: Tolerance in the Age of the Protestant Reformation

The Quest for Spiritual Truth Beyond the Church

Sebastian Franck and Valentin Weigel

IX: Epilogue



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Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona where he teaches and research medieval and early modern German and European literature and culture. In his by now ninety scholarly books he has examined many different aspects, most recently water (2017), the forest (2016), death (2016), multilingualism (2016), love, marriage, and sexuality (in several books over the last two decades), friendship, urban and rural space, crime and punishment, women’s voices, etc. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1986. He has received major grants and awards for teaching, research, and service.