Christianity and Islam have each always accorded great importance to one central figure on which their theology pivots. As tensions between the two religions heightened, Christian polemics turned to composing vitriolic accounts of Muhammad’s life, in order to appeal to an audience that—especially in the Middle Ages with its rich hagiographical practice—was highly receptive to biographical storytelling. In tracing how the depictions of Muhammad evolved in the medieval West, this handsome volume brings into focus how the gradual manifestation of certain motives and falsehoods in tropes shaped the perception of Islam as a whole.
The volume Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammad is a welcome contribution to the study of Christian-Islamic relations. Produced in superb quality, it showcases the real diversity of the Latin accounts of Muhammad’s life available in the medieval Latin West. With its fine translations, it offers those interested in Christian invectives against Islam a great study tool.