Paper 3:  Scholars’ perspectives on coexistence; with judgement of the best interpretation

(min.3pgs of text)

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Note:  There will not be a separate quiz as originally announced in the class schedule.  Instead this paper will count at 9% of the course grade.


The general theme is as posted above.  Here is what I want you to specifically address:

  • What are some major perspectives among scholars on coexistence in medieval Spain? Are there key points that you have come to understand should be borne in mind in assessing the concept known as ‘convivencia’?  How have scholarly outlooks changed over time, and why?

These questions will steer your considerations.  All three should be addressed in some depth, perhaps in separate sections within the paper or interlaced in various ways.  You must make specific use of the Wolf and the Novikoff articles, making specific citation from both of these at least three times each.  At least one other separate scholarly citation must be incorporated into the paper (from Menocal, Barton, or some other work[s]).  It may help you to look up and look a bit look further into one of the books in the website below; a book review can give some good ideas in brief format.



1/ Kenneth Baxter Wolf, “Convivencia in Medieval Spain: A Brief History of an Idea,” Religion Compass 3.1 (2009): 72–85.

2/ Alex Novikoff, “Between Tolerance and Intolerance in Medieval Spain: an Historiographic Enigma,” Medieval Encounters 11.1-2 (2005), 7-36.

3/  [reviews idea/history of convivencia and much literature before 2015]

Read the main text, a short explanation of some of the principal literature up to 2015.  See at least these short summaries in the final section: 

Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages (2. edition) (2005)
By Thomas Glick

Convivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Medieval Spain (1992)
Ed by Vivian B. Mann,Thomas F. Glick and Jerrilynn Denise Dodds

A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain (2005)
by Chris Lowney

The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050-1300 (2008)
By Brian A. Catlos

Conquerors, Brides, and Concubines. Interfaith Relations and Social Power in Medieval Iberia (2014
By Simon Barton

Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today
By David Nuremberg (2014)

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain (2016)
by Dario Fernandez-Morera



MarkT.Abate,“Convivencia:ConquestandCoexistencein MedievalSpain” in Handbook of Medieval Culture, vol. 1, ed. A. Classen (2015), 232-77.


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