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Abstract

The Latin authors of ninth-century Umayyad Córdoba Eulogius, Albarus, and Samson are known for their opposition to acculturation, Arabic learning, and, in the case of Eulogius and Albarus, their defense of the martyrs’ movement of the 850s. One generation later, the first known Christian-Arabic theologian of Hispanic origin appears, Ḥafṣ b. Albar. His adoption of Islamized Arabic has traditionally represented an ideological break from the previous generation of Christian intellectuals in Córdoba. This article questions this discontinuity through analysis of Samson’s Apologeticus contra perfidos (864 CE) and Ḥafṣ’s extant work. The article argues that the Apologeticus engages kalām and proves relevant for its Islamic context. Further, the article argues that Ḥafṣ’s work continues the project laid out by Samson, though with a more polemical eye towards Islam.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

This article seeks to shed light on attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in the Kingdom of Naples during the early fourteenth century by examining references to non-Christians in the quodlibets, disputed questions, and sermons of the Dominican theologian John of Naples (Giovanni Regina, d. ca. 1348). John’s patron, King Robert of Naples (r. 1309–1343) has traditionally been portrayed as a more tolerant monarch than his predecessor Charles II, and John’s views seem to accord well with Robert’s: he does not advocate conversion, but rather allows Jews and Muslims a limited place within Christian society. Treating topics as diverse as biblical exegesis, blasphemy, sorcery, slavery, mercenaries, and medical ethics, John’s writings on Jews and Muslims were inspired both by traditional scholastic questions and contemporary events. While his views on non-Christians are far from positive, John stops short of disseminating the more virulent polemics of his time.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

In the south gallery of the cloister of the Cathedral of Santa María, Girona, we find one capital that is differentiated from the rest because of its formal as well as its iconographic characteristics. The four faces of capital no. 4 contain two repeated and two alternating motifs: the archer on horseback and the lion attacking a bull. Both the dress of these horsemen and their physical traits identify them as Muslim horsemen. This identification creates an interpretive context for the capital as a whole that also conditions the reading of the conquering lion. Both images will be examined within their constructive context in the light of events and legends that surrounded the cathedral of Girona in the twelfth century. Moreover, we will trace the origin of these motifs that have their parallels in ivories of the art of the caliphal and taifa periods as well as in Catalan Romanesque and Sicilian-Norman art. This overview will enable us to interpret the meaning and significance of the capital in its historical-artistic context and enrich our knowledge of the artistic transfers between Andalusian and Romanesque art.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

The Indiculus Luminosus has been discussed for its polemical depiction of Muḥammad, its author’s lament over the loss of Latinity in Umayyad Córdoba, or its relation to the so-called Córdoban Martyrs of the 850s. None of these, however, comprehends the purpose of the work as a whole. A layman, Paulus Alvarus, wrote the Indiculus in 854 CE to galvanize the Córdoban Christian elites to oppose Islam through public preaching and affirmation of their Christian identity without compromise. Asserting prophetic authority and appropriating ecclesiastical modes of discourse to engage and influence the elites of an early medieval society, Alvarus’s Indiculus provides a crucial, if idiosyncratic, witness to a time of profound cultural and religious change.

In: Medieval Encounters
A Critical Edition of the Sanctae Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes aliquot (1567) with a Modern English Translation
The Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes (Heidelberg, 1567), written by exiled Spanish Protestants, is the first systematic denunciation of the Spanish Inquisition. Its first part is a description of the Inquisition’s methods, making use of the Inquisition’s own instruction manual, which was not publicly known. Its second section presents a gallery of individuals who suffered persecution in Seville during the anti-Protestant repression (1557-1565). The book had a great impact, being almost immediately translated into English, French, Dutch, German, and Hungarian. The portraits very soon passed into Protestant martyrologies, and the most shocking descriptions (torture, auto de fe) became ammunition for anti-Spanish literature. This critical edition presents a new text as well as, for the first time, extensive notes.
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.
An Edition of the Hebrew Text, with English Translation and Introduction
This extraordinary commentary by a late twelfth-century anonymous northern French exegete interprets the Song of Songs solely according to its plain meaning as a story of two young lovers and their developing relationship. The exegete pays attention to every detail of the text, offering many enlightening insights into its meaning, all the while expanding upon the “way of lovers” – the ways that young people in love go about their lovemaking. The French background of the exegete is made clear by numerous references to knights, coats of arms, weapons, chivalry, and of course, wine drinking. The edition is accompanied by an English translation and extensive introduction which analyzes the various linguistic, literary, and exegetical features of the text.
Contact, Diversity, and Translocality
This collection of articles is an innovative contribution to religious studies, because it picks up concepts developed in the wake of the so-called “spatial turn”. Religions are always located in a certain cultural and spatial environment, but often tend to locate (or translocate) themselves beyond that original setting. Also, many religious traditions are not only tied to or associated with the area its respective adherent live in, but are in fact “bi-local” or even “multi-local”, as they closely relate to various spatial centers or plains at once. This spatial diversity inherent to many religions is a corollary to religious diversity or plurality that merits in-depth research. The articles in this volume present important findings from a series of settings within and between Asia and Europe
The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism
Lux in Tenebris is a collection of eighteen original interdisciplinary essays that address aspects of the verbal and visual symbolism in the works of significant figures in the history of Western Esotericism, covering such themes as alchemy, magic, kabbalah, angels, occult philosophy, Platonism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy. Part I: Middle Ages & Early Modernity ranges from Gikatilla, Ficino, Camillo, Agrippa, Weigel, Böhme, Yvon, and Swedenborg, to celestial divination in Russia. Part II: Modernity & Postmodernity moves from occultist thinkers Schwaller de Lubicz and Evola to esotericism in literature, art, and cinema, in the works of Colquhoun, Degouve de Nuncques, Bruskin, Doitschinoff, and Pérez-Reverte, with an essay on esoteric theories of colour.

Contributors are: Michael J.B. Allen, Susanna Åkerman, Lina Bolzoni, Aaron Cheak, Robert Collis, Francesca M. Crasta, Per Faxneld, Laura Follesa, Victoria Ferentinou, Joshua Gentzke, Joscelyn Godwin, Hans Thomas Hakl, Theodor Harmsen, Elke Morlok, Noel Putnik, Jonathan Schorsch, György Szönyi, Carsten Wilke, and Thomas Willard.