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  • Author or Editor: Uri Shachar x
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Historians celebrate the Old French Ordene de Chevalerie as an important landmark in the history of French nobility. The version of Ordene that most scholars have studied showcases Saladin’s interest in Christian chivalry but stops short of his actual dubbing. An often-neglected prose recension of this tale that first appeared in an oriental history of Outremer goes a step further, imagining the sultan to have truly become a knight “in the Christian fashion.” This version of the story, I argue, portrays Christian dubbing not only as a ceremony through which young aristocrats were admitted into a society of warriors, but also as an instrument for spiritual ascent that non-Christians could experience without renouncing their own faith. As such, the story echoes the widespread near-eastern trope of ecumenical mysticism, in which members of various faiths were seen to partake in mystical practices that belonged to neighboring traditions.

In: Medieval Encounters