Religious Diversity in the Medieval Mediterranean, Part 1: Inter-Communal Disputation and Discussion

AHA Session 180
Medieval Academy of America 3
Saturday, January 4, 2014: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Columbia Hall 1 (Washington Hilton)
Brian A. Catlos, University of Colorado Boulder
Alex J. Novikoff, Fordham University

Session Abstract

The first panel of the “Religious Diversity in the Medieval Mediterranean” workshop looks at inter-communal disputation, polemic, and various manifestations of ethno-religious boundaries. The four panelists include graduate students and senior faculty from North America and Europe. Collectively, they examine the theme of inter-communal dispute from Iberia to Anatolia. The first two papers show how religious boundaries were created and maintained. Mònica Colominas Aparicio analyses a fourteenth-century anti-Christian and anti-Jewish polemic, written by a mudejar who was strongly influenced by contemporary Latin and Aristotelian traditions. Younus Mirza locates the attitude of the great theologian Ibn Taymiyya to the Christian Bible by triangulating him with Ibn Hazm and al-Ghazali, two other towering Islamic thinkers. The second two papers show how tenuous and geographically contextual inter-communal boundaries between Muslims and Christians could be: in Anatolia in the case of Sergio La Porta, and in Sicily and Southern Italy in the case of Valerie Ramseyer. Together, these four original papers bring out the paradoxes of religious identity in the plural Mediterranean, as seen in both mediation and opposition.