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Luther's knowledge of and attitude towards Islam

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Chapter Summary

Martin Luther's knowledge of the Muslim world was derived primarily from medieval literature on Islam. An interesting aspect of Luther's reading with regard to Islam, which has not been pursued by scholars, is his knowledge of Latin translations of Arabic works. In spite of the fact that Luther found the translation 'poor' or, rather, difficult, there are some features to Robert's Qurʾān that make it a more accessible read in comparison to the others. Luther's concern that the Turks and their religion be thoroughly represented was expressed throughout the course of his writings. There is little scholarly consensus concerning the nature and extent of Luther's knowledge and comprehension of Islam. While his knowledge of general Arab Muslim history was slight, Luther read several important accounts of Ottoman history.

Keywords: Islam; Latin translations; Martin Luther; Muslim world; Ottoman; Qurʾān; Turks



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