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Trickster Travels Essay1

Trickster Travels Essay1 - Nick Poggetti Trickster Travel...

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Nick Poggetti Trickster Travel Essay March 14, 2008 Topic 1 Al- Hassan Al-Wazzan’s Liminal Existence Al-Hassan al-Wazzan existed in two worlds apart during his lifetime, split between Islam in North Africa and Christianity in Europe . Al-Wazzan faced challenges from both sides . His Islamic roots kept him bound to one side, and his need for knowledge and understanding of Christianity lured him to the other . Living in a world divided by two religions also brought many challenges that included danger and confusion . However, al-Wazzan was able to navigate both worlds because he found ways to preserve a solid balance between the two . Al-Hassan al- Wazzan maintained a balance between his two lifestyles successfully enough through his conversion from Islam to Christianity by maintaining his identity, pleasing his target audience, and remaining neutral enough to keep both cultures content . Al-Wazzan’s turning point was his conversion from Islam to Christianity . This conversion was a major event in his life which began his dual existence . He gave up his primary religion to escape permanent confinement . This conversion shows much of al-Wazzan . For example, the act of conversion was essentially forced: “Al-Wazzan’s eventual decision to say that he believed the articles of the Christian faith was in part coerced: continued imprisonment and/or enslavement would have been his destiny otherwise . 1 But proof is given supporting the fact that he was also in search of knowledge . He was looking to learn more about religion and faith through Christianity . “Yet it also involved more complicated thoughts, feelings and 1 Davis, Natalie Zemon . Trickster Travels . (New York: Hill and Wang 2006), 63 .
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attractions . 2 Natalie Zemon Davis provides two sides of al-Wazzan’s thoughts . At one end, he must convert in order to continue his travels and life . On the other side, there is something that attracted al-Wazzan to Christianity . He was curious about it, and knew there was much for him to gain from the new religion .
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