The crusades to the Holy Land are well-known for the violent military conflict they provoked. While keeping in the background this brutal confrontation, the seminar will aim at focusing especially on the intellectual responses provided by the Latin Christianity to the threat posed by Islam. Hence, the seminar will study arguments like those of heresy or idolatry that were developed by Christians in order to undermine the religious legitimacy of Islam. Additionally, in order to deepen these analyses, the seminar will examine, for instance, the accusations of fraud against the prophet Muhammad. However, the seminar will also analyze the attempts that sought to diminish the differences between Islam and Christianity. For so doing, the seminar will be based on various types of texts like chronicles (The Deeds of God through the Franks by Guibert of Nogent), polemical works (A Summary of the Entire Heresy of the Saracens and Against the Sect of the Saracens by Peter the Venerable) or dialogues (The Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men by Ramon Llull).
Besides familiarizing the students with the topic through text analyses and discussions, the seminar will also try to develop their English skills, which will certainly be helpful for their professional future.