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Tolerance’s End: Religious Minorities, Philosophers, Free-Thinkers and the Rise of Fundamentalism in 12th and 13th Century Islamic Spain

Tolerance’s End: Religious Minorities, Philosophers, Free-Thinkers and the Rise of Fundamentalism in 12th and 13th Century Islamic Spain

Lecture by Lourdes Maria Alvarez, Acting Director of Medieval and Byzantine Studies at the Catholic University of America

Given on April 23, 2009 at the Catholic University of America

Explorations (and celebrations) of the so-called convivencia between Muslims, Christians and Jews in 10th- and 11th-century Spain have been the subject of an enormous amount of scholarship in the last 60 years. Far less attention has been paid to the complex interplay between competing religio-political understandings of Islamic military and economic decline and how these conflicts affected religious minority populations and the philosophers, mystics and intellectuals who would become the most visible targets of “fundamentalist” fury.

Lourdes Maria Alvarez is acting director of Medieval and Byzantine Studies at the Catholic University of America and an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. A graduate of Yale University, she has published on Islamic mysticism, intellectual history and literature in medieval Spain. Her book, Abu al-Hasan al-Shushtari: Songs of Love and Devotion published by Paulist Press.

This video was filmed by the Rumi Forum.

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