Islamic Civilisation's Role in the Waning of the European Middle Ages

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This essay argues that the experience of acquiring indisputably superior knowledge and technology from Muslim rivals led Latin Christian leaders to seriously doubt themselves. The essay details various experiences that Latins had with Islamic civilisation between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. These caused a virtual avalanche of doubts in Western Europe over a wide array of topics ranging from political authorities to religious orthodoxies. I further contend that much of the scepticism which allegedly made the European Renaissance possible, resulted from Western Christendom's intense interaction with Islamic civilisation in those centuries. Conventional Euro-centric readings of the Renaissance as sui generis notwithstanding, Islamic civilisation played a major role in the death of the Middle Ages and the birth of the Renaissance.

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The Medieval History Journal

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