1) In several ways, Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages shared in their approach to dealing with the infidels living in their lands, particularly in their proclamation of legal edicts defining the level of toleration and the protection offered those nonbelievers. Yet, however similar the two society's legislative relations were in managing minority faiths, there still existed minor fundamental differences stemming from disparities in their societal structure.
A study of the legal decrees of either society reveals they both desired to maintain hegemony and obtain respect (manifestly and psychologically) for their faith. They also both capitalized on the ability of infidels to perform tasks considered necessary yet sacrilegious, or that they were more suited to because of their involvement in trade. Conversion of the unbelievers to Christianity or Islam was also a primary goal. To accomplish all of these, Christians and Muslims instituted laws delineating the level of toleration and subjugation of minority faiths.
In medieval Christian society, one example of legislation outlining these goals can be found in the Codex Justinianus, or Justinian’s Code. In "Title Nine: Concerning Jews and the worshippers of the heavens," legislation prohibits Jews from attacking or insulting converts from Judaism to Christianity, marrying Christians, blaspheming or insulting Christianity, engaging in defamatory acts such as the burning of crucifixes, circumcising Christians, proselytizing, holding public office, or building new synagogues (although they were permitted to repair existing ones). Many of the same laws applied to Muslims. At the same time, the Codex guaranteed certain rights and protections to Jews. Jews were not to be...
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... encountered in carrying out their inquisitive duties in Germany. They have apparently encountered "impediments..in the exercise of their office."
The pope is therefore reinforcing the inquisitors' power to conduct inquisitions for the sake of "[preventing the] ruin of others who are innocent." He also gives them the power to punish those selling their souls to the devil in return for magic and witchcraft, with imprisonment, and unspecified "correction" and "punishment." This excerpt reveals its Medieval provenance in the fear expressed by its words. Magic and witchcraft were high items for concern in the Middle Ages, which was a foremost religious world, and which put much greater faith in the power of Evil than might be said of our modern times. Magic was considered to be tied to the Devil, and the practitioners of its craft were therefore considered heretics.
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