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Experiencing Otherness. Bertrandon de la Broquière's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem (1432) (2007-2008)

Field of study: History

This article aims […] to argue that medieval Christian-Muslim interactions were not simply schematic constructions of otherness, through which each part was enforcing and
reassuring its own identity. Instead, I will argue that, some of the Western medieval writers engaged in a genuine effort to understand and translate a different culture into their own. I will develop my argument around a case-study of a fifteenth-century pilgrim, the Burgundian Bertrandon de la Broquière, who chose a radical method to get to know the Muslim
Other. Bertrandon transgressed the frontier that separated him from the Other by turning Turk. Thus, in order to travel throughout Muslims’ lands, he disguised himself as a Turk and, while walking in his Muslim travel companions’ shoes, he came to be acquainted with their way of life.

Keywords: Christian-Muslim interactions, Bertrandon de la Broquière,

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