ZJS: Convivencia in the Mediterranean. Early Modern Perceptions, Practices, and Limits in Dealing with the Religious Other
Selma Stern Center, Potsdam – International Conference: November 21-23, 2021
Organized by the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg, Prof. Dr. Sina Rauschenbach, Dr. Susanne Härtel
The 2021 Selma Stern Center international conference will focus on interactions of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the early modern Mediterranean. Attention will be given to a variety of contacts between communities and individuals. Scholarly contributions may prove the relevance or even irrelevance of religious affiliation in the specific cases under consideration.
The concept of “convivencia” comes from scholarship on the medieval Iberian Peninsula, where it is traditionally used to describe cultural and social interactions between the members of the major religious communities (Thomas F. Glick). The concept has been criticized in its generality, but at the same time has inspired a plethora of empirical studies. Similar to medieval Spain and after the Iberian expulsions, Christians, Jews and Muslims continued to live together in the early modern Mediterranean – in North Africa, in the various provinces of the Ottoman Empire and in different parts of Italy. In historiography, however, these different regions have rarely been viewed comparatively with regard to their religious make-up. Often very global interpretations dominate, perceiving places either as havens of tolerance or sites within an overarching oppression.
It is the goal of the conference to bring together scholars of various disciplines (Byzantine Studies, History, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Ottoman Studies and other relevant fields). In individual case studies, we will discuss questions of interreligious relations, be it in collaboration or conflict, in the early modern Mediterranean.