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Luther's initial critique of Islam

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Chapter Summary

Martin Luther's initial response to Islam was located in Vom kriege widder die Turcken. By analysing what he understood to be religious, political, and domestic injunctions enjoined upon human beings in the Qurʾān, he hoped to convince his readers that one could not remain indifferent to the encroachment of the Ottoman Empire into Europe. As Luther was convinced that the Devil was always at work in the world, he inferred that the Qurʾān was the product of Muḥammad being possessed by Satan, and the Turks, by following the prophet and his 'blasphemous book', were servants in the army of the Devil. Luther's earliest statements regarding the origin and shape of the three estates were made even before his break with Rome. Luther's final and briefest criticism of Islam was that it destroyed the estate of holy matrimony by undermining the security of the marital union through liberal exercise of divorce.

Keywords: Europe; Islam; Martin Luther; Muḥammad; Ottoman Empire; Qurʾān; Vom kriege widder die Turcken



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