The image of non-Christians in medieval travel accounts of Asia

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Project Identification
Project Period
1/2008 - 12/2010
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Czech Science Foundation
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Arts
representation of "the Other", orientalism, medieval concept of religion, travel accounts

The project develops the issue of the image of non-christians in medieval European travel accounts from the 13th and 14th ce., to which the doctoral thesis of the proposer was devoted. The main problem of the proposed project lies in the attitude of these authors (Marco Polo, William of Rubruck, Odoric of Pordenone etc.) coming from Latin Christian background towards non-christians in Asia. The solution of the project is focused on the analysis of representations of "the Others", including Buddhists, Hindus, Nestorians, Muslims and Jews, in accounts of authentic encounter. Theoretically the project criticaly refers to the theory of orientalism (E. Said) and follows modern theories of "the Other" (J. Smith, T. Todorov) and non-essentialist concept of identities (S. Hall) and its representations. The main aim is to analyse medieval concept of "a religion" as a category and religious identity constructed during the process of mutual encounter. The project contributes to the methodology of the study of religions in the Middle Ages. The work on the project is planned into three years.


Total number of publications: 11

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