Simulation and Dissimulation: Religious Hybridity in a Morisco Fatwa

in Medieval Encounters
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Catholic religiosity became the central premise for law and order in sixteenth century Spain. Consequently, many Muslims left the Peninsula, and those that remained were forced to choose between renouncing Islam and becoming martyrs. In 1504, the Mufti of Oran wrote a fatwa to the Moriscos in Spain allowing them to simulate a Catholic religiosity while dissimulating an Islamic religiosity. He declared that even without formally practicing Islam, they were true Muslims as long as the “intention of their hearts” was pure. Mediated by simulation and dissimulation, gestures of guilt ensued as many subjects undermined dominant ideologies in order to preserve their traditions. This essay reads these movements between Christianity and Islam as signs of hybrid religiosity, theorizing that, contrary to what the Church-State prescribed then and what cultural and political historians have concluded thereafter, the notion of religiosity in Spain transcended institutionalized dogma. The Appendix at the end of this study includes an unedited version of this fatwa, transcribed, translated, and with paleographical commentary. I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Devin J. Stewart, who inspired me to seek out this lost version of the fatwa of the Mufti of Oran.

Simulation and Dissimulation: Religious Hybridity in a Morisco Fatwa

in Medieval Encounters



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 100 100 26
Full Text Views 251 251 39
PDF Downloads 21 21 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0