Conclusion: Religious Encounter and Religious Openness
The chapter summarizes the phases of the parable’s evolution in the three Abrahamic religions: the eighth-century Muslim version that appears in The Apology of Timothy, its absorption in European culture, and the emergence of its tolerant formulation. It emphasizes how the parable changed due to religious and intellectual exchange, and interacted with evolving relativist attitudes toward foreign religions. It then discusses the reception of the parable by different audiences: urban educated elite, the monastic class, and popular rural folk. The chapter concludes that reviewing the various versions of the Parable attests to the resilience of the idea of religious relativism, and its ability to survive in shifting cultural environments from the early Middle Ages through to the early modern era, despite violent confrontations, persecutions, and wars.