J.L. Vives: De veritate fidei Christianae, Book IV

The Christian – Muslim Dialogue


Editor: Edward George
A literary dialogue between a Christian and a Muslim, maintaining the superiority of Christianity: this volume presents a critical Latin text and the first ever English translation, annotated, of this important but hitherto largely overlooked document among sources in Christian – Muslim relations. Some of Vives’s criticisms of Muhammad and Islam are based on scripture or reason; many others rely on lampoon of Arab or Islamic folk tales. Still, he censures Muslim followers only narrowly, far less for moral failings or hatred of Christians than for gullibility in accepting Islam. Book Four provides valuable evidence of the reach and the limits of Vives’s humanistic tolerance as applied to religious conflict.

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Edward V. George (Ph.D., Wisconsin, 1966) is Professor Emeritus, Classics, Texas Tech University, and former President of the American Association for Neo-Latin Studies. He is editor of Vives’s Sullan Declamations and Commentary on the Dream of Scipio and author of numerous articles on Vives.
Preface: Acknowledgments
I. Vives’s career and the De veritate
II. Outline of De veritate Book 4
A. Introduction. (Preface: Chs. I-II, Praef., 1)
B. Inadequacies of Muhammad. (Chs. III-V, 4-22)
C. The Islamic holy writings. (Chs. VI-VIII, 23-30)
D. God and Christ. (Chs. IX-X, 31-43)
E. The natural world. (Ch. XI, 44-51)
F. Muhammad’s followers: Law and life of the Saracens. (Chs. XII-XIV, 52-68)
G. The Day of Judgment: Celestial bliss. (Chs. XV-XVI, 69-84)
H. The abrupt conclusion. (Chs. XVII-XIX, 85-91)
III. Vives and the Tradition of Christian – Muslim Polemical Dialogues
A. Dialogues in Vives’s literary history
B. The polemic dialogue tradition
C. Pérez de Chinchon: a special precedent
D. The Corpus Cluniacense and Theodor Bibliander
E. The Doctrina Mahumet
IV. Vives and Muslims
V. Significance: Reception: Later Influence
VI. This Edition
VII. Translations
Text and Translation
Appendix I: Excerpts from De veritate fidei Christianae Book 4 in Bibliander 1543
Appendix II: The Tale of Muhammad’s Service in Heraclius’s Army
Index Locorum
Index Nominum
Any student of Christian – Muslim historical relations. Neo-Latinists. Scholars of the Northern Renaissance, European history, Christian and Catholic apologetics, dialogue, and rhetoric. For library collections of 16th century source material.