Conversion via ecstatic experience in Ramon Llull's Llibre del gentil e dels tres savis

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"Conversion via Ecstatic Experience in Ramon Llull's Llibre del gentil e dels tres savis." The Llibre del gentil e dels tres savis was written by the Catalan philosopher, mystic, and missionary Ramon Llull (ca. 1232-1316) probably between 1274 and 1276. It describes an interreligious disputation between a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim for the edification of a truth-seeking Gentile. While the work has been cited for its tolerance toward the other faiths and for demonstrating Llull's knowledge of them, little attention has been given to the general framework in which the disputation takes place. The narrative is not just a literary device for the disputation between three wise men, but is an allegorical and symbolic representation of the via mystica. Llull was aware of current mystical trends within the Jewish communities of Provence and Catalonia, and he hoped that his Jewish (and Muslim) interlocutors, recognizing the symbolic representations of the narrative, would engage with the work, leading to ecstatic experience and recognition of the truth of Christianity. The Llibre del gentil can be read on two levels: a literal, where a religious disputation occurs between members of the three faiths, and an allegorical, where the work maps out the progress of the soul toward achieving cognitio Dei.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-200
Number of pages20
JournalViator - Medieval and Renaissance Studies
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Llull, Ramon , 1232-1315
  • Conversion
  • Disputations, Religious
  • Mysticism


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