chapter  9
Talking to Spiritual Others: Ramon Llull, Nicholas of Cusa, Diego Valadés
ByPauline Moffit Watts
Pages 16

Ramon Llull's Liber de gentili et tribus sapientibus, Nicholas of Cusa's De pace fidei, and Diego Valadés' Rhetorica Christiana are all occasioned by important periods or moments of contact between Christian and non-Christian cultures. Each work also reflects a different phase in the internal history of Christian meditations on the self and spiritual others. Put slightly differently, Llull's conversion opened him up to the influence of spiritual others in ways that distinguished him from the mainstreams of contemporary western European schooling and thinking. In Liber de gentili et tribus sapientibus a distraught Gentile is subjected to a popularized version of the Art, through conversation with a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim. The ending of the piece has a strange twist which is worthy of comment in regard to Llull's talks with spiritual "others." Like Llull's Liber de gentili et tribus sapientibus, Cusanus' De pace fidei was prompted by an encounter of Christian and non-Christian other of considerable historical significance.