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« L’Occident se regardant au miroir musulman : le Viaje de Turquía (1557-1558) »

Abstract : We propose to examine here a particularly original text, a UFO in Spanish literature, the Viaje de Turquía, written between 1577 and 1558, which has remained in anonymous manuscript form. The text is presented as a dialogue between three characters whose names are clearly fictitious (Pedro de Urdemalas, Matalascallando and Juan de Voto a Dios), in which Pedro de Urdemalas recounts his stay with the Turks, first as a captive and then as a doctor. At first glance, therefore, the text appears to be a faithful description of the customs of the Turks with the intention of being informative. The anonymous nature of the text can be explained for several reasons, the main one being that the author is a spokesman for Erasmist ideas which, at the time, appeared dangerously close to Protestantism. In it, the anonymous author expresses, in no uncertain terms, a criticism of Christian society and, even more so, a criticism of Christian religious practice, with the aim of reform, denouncing, among other things, the corruption and ignorance of the clergy, the proliferation of superstitions, the cult of images, the emptiness of rites and ceremonies that cannot make up for the crying lack of a sincere and true faith. What is most interesting is that this criticism of the Christian West is made through a constant comparison with the Turks and their own practice of Islam. Through a game of comparisons and paradoxical inversions that will focus much of our attention, the anonymous author comes to demonstrate that Muslims are more charitable, more generous, more practising than Christians and that, finally, Muslims behave more faithfully to the precepts of the Gospel than Christians themselves: in a word, Turkish Muslims are more authentically Christian than Christians themselves. Finally, this text shows the faithful practice of the faith among Turkish Muslims, the strict observance of the precepts of Islam (what we would be tempted to call now 'fundamentalism') as a model element, from which a Christian West, wallowing in materialism, corruption, hypocrisy and pretense, should draw inspiration. The purpose of the text is, of course, to reform the Christian world: it is to reform Christianity towards more interiority, authenticity and respect for the precepts of the Gospel. But what interests us here is that this desire for reform is achieved by looking at Muslim otherness: far from being a repellent, the Muslim Other becomes a an example that enables us, as Westerners, to improve ourselves and to improve, paradoxically, our own Christian faith.
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Contributor : Christine Orobitg Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, March 6, 2022 - 11:07:07 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 7, 2022 - 3:27:34 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03598825, version 1



Christine Orobitg. « L’Occident se regardant au miroir musulman : le Viaje de Turquía (1557-1558) ». Résonances islamiques en Occident, Bénédicte LETELLIER & Guilhem ARMAND, EA DIRE – FLSH – Université de La Réunion, Mar 2022, Saint Denis (La Réunion), France. ⟨hal-03598825⟩



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