A Comparative Study of Religious Other-Making and Power between Muslims and Christians at the First Crusade


Religious other-making means to recognize and approve the owning identity or discourse as the ultimate truth based on the negation of the other religious discourse. One of the examples has happened during the crusades. However, the extent of the religious essence’s power in this other-making process among Christians’ and Muslims’ both, based on the theoretical essentials towards each other -Christianity being accepted by Muslims, but Islam being denied as an Abrahamic religion by Christians- remains unclear. Therefore, this, by studying two historiographical books of the same period, owned by each side, the “al-Kamil fi'l Tarikh” of Ibn Athir and the “Hierosolymita” of Ekkehard of Aura, and by concentrating on the first crusade, questions the developing process of the emergence of the other-making phenomenon in these works and the possibility of considering religion itself as the main cause of the other-making in both sides. Thus, by applying a comparative approach to the study cases at hand, the essay has initially sought for the controversies and continued with interpreting the data using Foucault’s theory of the “Negative Discourse” and Derrida’s Semi-Narrative-leading-to the-law, has proved the wrong of similar popularizations of both Christians and Muslims, aiming to present a contemporary study of this concept. The essay finally concludes that in the Christian side, the will to other-making was more influenced by religion, while on the side of Muslims, although there has been similar intentions, the meaning of “the other” most likely alluded to a different geography or nationality, and not necessarily their religion.

Author Information
Maryam Pirdehghan, Islamic Art University of Tabriz, Iran
Mohsen Niknam, Art University of Tehran, Iran

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2015
Stream: Islamic Studies

This paper is part of the ACAS2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon