McKenny, Mihow P.

Theological Experiments in the Development of European Secularism
2024 1-4955-1212-6
"Though ideologically aligned with the Spiritual Franciscans, who were suppressed to near-silence on account of their evangelical refusal to own property, Ramon Llull was able to avoid papal and royal censure. This was not because Llull's positions were any less radical than the Spiritual Franciscans, but instead because he spoke primarily for himself in his activism, with no large collectivity behind him. Llull saw himself as "procurator infidelium", but his self-developed quest to promote the welfare of non-Christians overtly threatened no one. Of course, his interest in non-Christians was also accompanied by criticism of clerical corruption, inquisitorial excesses, and contemporary crusading approaches, all of which he sought to reform by way of a Christendom-wide missionary project. Llull's perceived harmlessness, however, granted him the intellectual freedom and possibilities for political influence that most anticlerical reformers (subjected instead to exile, imprisonment, or execution on the pyre) lacked. ... What high medieval developments set the stage for Llull's interest in the conversion of non-Christians--abstractly, an instantiation of the desire for cultural conquest that commonly arises within mature civilizations?" -Mihow P. McKenny (from the "Introduction")

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