Chapter

The Three Turks

Norman Housley

in Religious Warfare in Europe 1400-1536

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552283
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191716515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552283.003.0005
 The Three Turks

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The dominant reference point in religious warfare in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was the Turk, and this chapter argues that ‘Turkishness’ was a multifaceted and changing identity. For many the essential enemy was the Ottoman Turks, whose aggression and brutality were widely disseminated. Their activities and plans were subjected to numerous prophetic and apocalyptic readings. Many contemporaries described their Christian opponents as Turks or ‘worse than Turks’, a practice that demonstrated both the potency of the Turkish image and the internal divisions which plagued the Christian world. For Erasmus and other moral reformers the Turk resided within each Christian, and Christian sinfulness was fully as fatal to the common defence of Europe as political rivalries. It was the achievement of Thomas More to synthesize these three images in a number of works that he wrote in the late 1520s and early 1530s.

Keywords: Turks; Luther; Erasmus; More

Chapter.  15883 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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