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The Intellectual and Material Legacies of Late Medieval Sephardic Judaism: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Objective

From the 13th to the 15th centuries, the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula (Sepharad) lived side by side with Christians and Muslims. Although persistent tensions existed between these three groups, their members also participated in a common artistic, intellectual and scientific endeavour that produced the requisite conditions for the dawn of the European Renaissance. The worldviews of all three communities revolved around their sacred texts—the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and the Qur’an. This project will take as a focal point Judaism and its sacred text, and will explore its role and impact in late medieval society at large. The project will coordinate the research of a group of young scholars doing groundbreaking work in the field, all sharing a cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary perspective. As a group, we will bring under analysis a wide range of concepts—the production of sacred texts as objects, the history of their cataloguing and preservation, the multiple and conflicting interpretations of their contents, their role as social agents that fostered coexistence or created exclusions, their impact in literature and the arts, their relationship with medieval science, and their relationship to Muslim and Christian Scriptures. The project has a special relevance for today’s multicultural and pluralistic Europe, as it can help to minimize fundamentalist readings of the sacred texts, bring about a greater understanding of the historical roots of modern intercultural conflict and, ultimately, contribute to the development of non essentialist theories of race and culture.

Field of science

  • /humanities/languages and literature/literature - general
  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/religion/islam
  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/religion/judaism
  • /humanities/arts

Call for proposal

ERC-2007-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 719 336
Principal investigator
Esperanza Alfonso (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Alberto Sereno Alvarez (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 719 336
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Esperanza Alfonso (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Alberto Sereno Alvarez (Mr.)