Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Tolerance and cultural fusion

Primary Source
Constable, Olivia Remie, Medieval Iberia, Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (Philadelphia, 1997), 58, A Mudejar Summary of Islamic Law, pp. 325-327.
Pact of Umar (7th century), available at https://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/source/pact-umar.asp

Core readings
Bejczy, I., 'Tolerantia: A Medieval Concept', Journal of the History of Ideas 58 (1997), 365-84.
Friedmann, Yohanan, Tolerance and coercion in Islam : interfaith relations in the Muslim tradition, Introduction (Cambridge, 2003).

Dadson, Trevor J., Tolerance and coexistence in early modern Spain : old Christians and Moriscos in the Campo de Calatrava esp. introduction again (Suffolk, 2014).
Kimmel, Seth, Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain (Chicago, 2015), Chapter 1, ‘Legible Conversions’, pp. 17-42.

Kamen, H., Toleration and the Law in the West, 1500 - 1700, Ratio Juris., Vol. 10, No 1(1997), 36-64.

Also recommended: Fernández-Morera, Darío, The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain (Wilmington, 2016), Chapter 4, ‘The Myth of Umayyad Tolerance, pp. 119-138.

Further Reading

Rosa, M, The Ornament of the world: how Muslims, Jews and Christians created a culture of tolerance in medieval Spain (Boston, 2002).

A. Tyler, Islam, the West, and Tolerance: Conceiving Coexistence (Palgrave, 2008)

Key Questions

  • What is 'tolerance'?
  • Where does the concept of tolerance come from?
  • How useful is the concept of tolerance for explaining interfaith relations in the Iberian World?
  • What makes a tolerant society?
  • How was cultural difference managed on the Iberian Peninsula?
  • How important was assimilation to Iberian society?
  • What were the methods and what were the limitations of assimilation?
  • Did Islam and Christianity have similar concepts of tolerance?

Historiographical theme: intellectual history