Muslim and Christian DBQ
From the depths of the Middle East during the Post-Classical period, two of the most powerful world religions emerged. Islam and Christianity, although sharing many similarities, also had their fair share of disagreements, one being their responses to the Black Death. The religion, demography, and interactions all contributed to the differentiation of Muslim and Christian reactions. Christians thought that the Black Death was sent from God as a punishment and blamed the Jews, while Muslims considered it a blessing and did not accuse any minority of initiating the outbreak.
The entire reason that the Black Death even spread in the first place was because of interactions. Trade was the main way the plague spread, mainly in Europe. (doc. 1) Since the Black Death spread more into Europe, more Christians were stricken with the epidemic and they thought it was a punishment from God. The Muslims saw it as a blessing because one of their rival religions was being depleted. This map was made to show where the Black Death spread and the paths it took throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Both Christians and Muslims could agree on at least one thing: The symptoms and effects of the plague were dreadful. As Agnolo di Tura, a chronicler in 14th century Italy, stated, “…one who did not see such horribleness can be called blessed.” (doc. 3) The people that had interactions of any sort with those who were afflicted with the Black Death, whether they were Muslim or Christian, can agree that the plague was awful. The authors wrote this to emphasize how terrible the Black Death was, and how much people suffered from it. When Europe was being overwhelmed with countless cases of the Black Plague, Christians needed someone to blame. Pope Clement VI, a Pope from Europe in the 14th century, stated that “Since this pestilence is all but universal everywhere…Jews have provided the cause…for such a crime is without plausibility.” (doc. 8) Interactions...
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