B. CATLOS, “Ethno-religious Relations in the Middle Ages”, 18 oct. 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 1501 Neil Ave

“Exceptional Iberia or Normative Mediterranean?
Contexts of Ethno-religious Relations in the Middle Ages”

Medieval “Spain” has long been portrayed as a unique case of ethno-religious diversity, and Muslim-Jewish-Christian relations, whether this is taken in a “positive” sense, as in Castro’s paradigm of convivencia, or in the “negative” sense of Reconquest and Expulsion. Neither of these paradigms holds up to close examination, and each is based on a selective reading of sources; together they disguise a dynamic of ethno-religious interaction that is much more ambivalent and complex. Moreover, such relations are not particular to the Iberian peninsula of the Middle Ages, but rather characterize ethno-religious relations across the Medieval Mediterranean. “Exceptional Iberia or Normative Mediterranean?” seeks to place Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations as can be observed in the Iberian peninsula in a Mediterranean context and suggest an alternative to both the nostaligia of convivencia and the anachronistic vision of a clash of civilizations.

Mediterranean Spain image

Since 2010, Brian Catlos has worked as an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, with cross-appointments in History, Humanities and the Jewish Studies program. He studies the dynamics of the social, economic and cultural interaction of ethno-religious groups in the Medieval Mediterranean, especially Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Iberia. In 1994, he received a B.A. in History and Philosophy from the University of Toronto (Canada), and an M.A. (1996) and Ph.D. (2000) in Medieval Studies (History) from the Centre for Medieval Studies.

His article “To Catch a Spy: The Case of Zayn al-Din and Ibn Dukan” [Medieval Encounters 2 (1996)] was translated into Arabic, and “The de Reys (1220–1501): The Evolution of a “Middle-Class” Muslim Family in Christian Aragon” [Viator 40 (2009)] was awarded the Bishko Prize in 2009 by the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies. In 2009 Catlos edited a festschrift in honor of this dissertation supervisor, Worlds of History and Economics. Essays in Honour of Andrew M. Watson (Valencia: Universitat de Valencia). Muslims in Latin Christendom, ca. 1050-1615 is due to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013, Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: The Mediterranean in the Age of the Crusades is to be published by Hill & Wang, and Common Histories: Everyday Lives of Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain is well underway and is in development with a major university press.

Infos: http://huminst.osu.edu/events/ethno-religious-relations-middle-ages-lecture-brian-catlos

Alice KADRI

Agrégée d'Espagnol et docteur en Histoire médiévale à l'Université de Nantes, elle travaille sur les mudéjars/morisques et la littérature aljamiada (Espagne, XV-XVIe s.).

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