Did Cusanus Talk with Muslims? Revisiting Cusanus’ Sources for the Cribratio Alkorani and Interfaith Dialogue

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Maarten Halff

Abstract

While Cusanus’ literary sources for his engagement with Islam have been closely studied, questions about possible personal encounters with Muslims, and the role of non-literary sources in developing his concept of interreligious dialogue, remain largely unaddressed. This paper presents original archival research to identify the only person whom Cusanus mentions in the Cribratio Alkorani by name as an oral source about Muslim beliefs – an Italian merchant active in Constantinople at the time of Cusanus’ visit in 1437. In doing so, it casts new light on Cusanus’ treatises on Islam and on his interaction with Muslims.

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