Convivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Medieval Spain

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Vivian B. Mann, Thomas F. Glick, Jerrilynn Denise Dodds, Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)
G. Braziller, 1992 - History - 263 pages
3 Reviews
The Middle Ages in Spain--the the period from the Muslim conquest of 711 to the expulsion of the Jews and the defeat of the last Muslim ruler in 1492--witnessed an extraordinary Golden Age through the intermingling of its Jewish, Muslim, and Christian inhabitants. This volume explores the nature of their coexistence (termed convivencia by Spanish historians), which embraced not only ideological interchange and cultural influence, but also mutual friction, rivalry, and suspicion.
The cultural and social dynamics underlying convivencia powerfully influenced the creation of poetry, art, architecture, and the material culture of Spain, as well as the transmission and absorption of scientific ideas and technology from East to West. Explored by leading scholars in each of these fields, the cultural treasures of convivencia range from Hebrew biblical manuscripts illuminated with Islamic stylistic motifs, to astrolabes with Latin inscriptions, to the first examples of secular Hebrew poetry. More than one hundred of the objects are united for the first time in an exhibition at the Jewish Museum, New York.
At a time when the study of cultural fusion is receiving increasing attention, this volume offers a fresh and comprehensive view of Spain's pluralistic medieval society. Moreover, it celebrates an inspiring history of cultural achievement in the context of intergroup relations that were both negative and positive. 36 color and 60 b/w plates.

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This is a catalog accompanying an exhibit at the Jewish Museum, New York, which was formally designated a project of the Spain '92 Foundation. Eight essays, a collection of catalog entries, and ... Read full review

Contents

An Introductory Note
1
Convivencia through the Eyes of Sephardic Jews
11
Hebrew Poetry in Medieval Iberia
39
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Vivian Mann is the Morris and Eva Feld Chair of Judaica at The Jewish Museum, and is Director of the Bernard Manekin Institute for Jewish Art. Thomas Glick, Professor of History at Boston University, is the author of "Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages", and is co-editor of "Historical Dictionary of Modern Sciences" in Spain. Jerrilyn Dodds, Associate Professor of Art History at the City University of New York and a specialist in medieval Islamic and Christian art, is the author of "Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain".

Jerrilynn D. Dodds is distinguished professor and senior faculty advisor to the provost for undergraduate education, City College of New York. She lives in New York City. Maria Rosa Menocal is director, Whitney Humanities Center, and Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale University. Her previous book, "The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain," has been translated into seven languages. She lives in New York City. Abigail Krasner Balbale is a candidate for the Ph.D. in history and Middle Eastern studies at Harvard University, where she focuses on the cultural history of medieval Iberia. This is her first book.

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