This book discusses the “long fifteenth century” in Iberian history, between the 1391 pogroms and the forced conversions of Aragonese Muslims in 1526, a period characterized by persecutions, conversions and social violence, on the one hand, and cultural exchange, on the other. It was a historical moment of unstable religious ideas and identities, before the rigid turn taken by Spanish Catholicism by the middle of the sixteenth century; a period in which the physical and symbolic borders separating the three religions were transformed and redefined but still remained extraordinarily porous. The collection argues that the aggressive tone of many polemical texts has until now blinded historiography to the interconnected nature of social and cultural intimacy, above all in dialogue and cultural transfer in later medieval Iberia.
Contributors are Ana Echevarría, Gad Freudenthal, Mercedes García-Arenal, Maria Laura Giordano, Yonatan Glazer-Eytan, Eleazar Gutwirth, Felipe Pereda, Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto, Katarzyna K. Starczewska, John Tolan, Gerard Wiegers, and Yosi Yisraeli.
Mercedes García-Arenal is Full Professor at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, Spain), a position she has held since 1990. Her research focuses on the religious history of Iberia and the Muslim West, particularly on religious minorities: conversion, polemics, messianism, religious dissidence. She is Principal Investigator of the Synergy project EuQu.
Gerard Wiegers is Full Professor of History of Religions and Comparative Religion at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on the Mudejar and Morisco history and religious life and on the history of Muslim and Jewish minorities in Europe in general. He is, in cooperation with Pieter Sjoerd van Koningsveld, preparing a critical edition of the Granada Lead Books.
Ryan Szpiech is Associate Professor of Spanish and Judaic Studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He has published on medieval polemical literature, the history of religious conversion, and the cultural significance of translation between Arabic, Hebrew, and the Romance Languages in the later Middle Ages.
Introduction Interreligious Encounters in Polemics between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Iberia and Beyond Mercedes García-Arenal and Gerard Wiegers
1 Ne De Fide Presumant Disputare: Legal Regulations of Interreligious Debate and Disputation in the Middle Ages John Tolan
2 The Brighter Side of Medieval Christian-Jewish Polemical Encounters: Transfer of Medical Knowledge in the Midi (Twelfth–Fourteenth Centuries) Gad Freudenthal
3 Better Muslim or Jew? The Controversy Around Conversion across Minorities in Fifteenth-Century Castile Ana Echevarría
4 The Spirit of the Letter: The Hebrew Inscription in Bermejo’s Piedat Revisited Yonatan Glazer-Eytan
5 Forgotten Witnesses: The Illustrations of Ms Escorial, I.I.3 and the Dispute over the Biblias Romanceadas Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto
6 From Christian Polemic to a Jewish-Converso Dialogue
Jewish Skepticism and Rabbinic-Christian Traditions in the Scrutinium Scripturarum Yosi Yisraeli
7 The Rabbi and the Mancebo: Arévalo and the Location of Affinities in the Fifteenth Century Eleazar Gutwirth
8 The Virus in the Language: Alonso De Cartagena’s Deconstruction of the “Limpieza De Sangre” in Defensorium Unitatis Christianae (1450) Maria Laura Giordano
9 Apologetic Glosses—Venues for Encounters: Annotations on Abraham in the Latin Translations of the Qurʾān Katarzyna K. Starczewska
10 Vox Populi: Carnal Blood, Spiritual Milk, and the Debate Surrounding the Immaculate Conception, ca. 1600 Felipe Pereda
All interested in the history of relations between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond, religious polemics and transformation of religious identities.