Workshop | Cultural Influences and Borrowing in Contexts of Religious Hostility between Christians and Muslims

FNO 02/ 40-46

Programme leaflet

Medieval and early modern population groups adhering to different belief-systems interacted in seemingly self-contradictory ways. Hostility and warfare justified by references to religion, as well as influences and cultural borrowing characterized their coexistence. This workshop will bring together these two themes in order to investigate more closely how groups could influence each other, when these groups were envisaged in terms of religious hostility, and how mechanisms of cultural borrowing were able to function during periods of explicitly formulated religious warfare. It is easier to conceptualize religious war on the one hand and cultural influences and borrowing on the other as two temporally or geographically distinct spheres of activity. Yet when Christians and Muslims were fighting wars that were defined on both sides as fighting for the true faith, at the same time they exerted influence on and borrowed from each other. This is especially true of areas where warfare continued for very long periods, between populations that also lived in close proximity to each other. How and why was such borrowing possible between enemies? What were the channels of cultural influence and borrowing? What new forms of interaction emerged as a result? The papers will focus on zones where interreligious warfare continued for centuries: the Iberian Peninsula, crusader territories in the East, and areas of Ottoman expansion. Analyzing examples from the terminology of polemics to architecture, from food to everyday objects, the workshop will explore the seemingly self-contradictory stance of openness to cultural influences from one's enemies.


25 February 2014

9:00 Kick-Off with Coffee

9:15 Welcome
Nora Berend (University of Cambridge, currently KHK Visiting Research Fellow)

Morning Session
Chair: Alexandra Cuffel (Ruhr University Bochum)

9:30–10:15 When Christian Polemic "Borrows" from Islamic ḥadīths: The Use of the Word 'alkaufeit' in Albarus of Cordoba's Indiculus luminosus (9th c.)
Ulisse Cecini (Ruhr University Bochum)

10:15–11:00 Social and Cultural Identity on the Menu in the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Judith Bronstein (University of Haifa and Oranim College)

11:00–11:30 Coffee Break

11:30–12:15 Misfits and Saviours in the East: Holy and Unholy Means and Men of War after the Fall of Constantinople
Alexandru Simon (Romanian Academy’s Center for Transylvanian Studies, Cluj-Napoca)

12:15–13:00 Borrowing Djem, King Matthias Explains his Strategy to Papal Legates
Antonín Kalous (Palacký University, Olomouc)

13:00–14:30 Lunch

Afternoon session
Chair: Nora Berend (University of Cambridge, currently Ruhr University Bochum)

14:30–15:15 Preparing the Crusade: Juan de Torquemada's Polemics against Islam
Reinhold Glei (Ruhr University Bochum)

15:15–16:00 The Medici and the Druze: a curious anti-Ottoman alliance
Adam Knobler (Ruhr University Bochum)

16:00–16:30 Coffee Break

16:30–17:15 Social Interactions and Material Culture During the Ottoman Period in Early Modern Hungary (16-17th Centuries)
József Laszlovszky (Central European University Budapest)

17:15–18:00 Current Developments in the Historiography of Ottoman-'European' Relations
Markus Koller (Ruhr University Bochum)

18:00 Debate

26 February 2014

Chair: Alexandra Cuffel (Ruhr University Bochum)

9:30–10:15 L'absorption silencieuse des indigènes andalous et de leur culture dans le Portugal de la Reconquête
Stéphane Boissellier (Université de Poitiers)

10:15–11:00 New Mosques in Borrowed Christian Houses: Negotiation of Space in the Context of Muslim Subject Populations
Ana Echevarría (UNED, Madrid)

11:00–11:30 coffee break

11:30–12:15 Iberia Entwined: Christians, Muslims and the Politics of Sex in the Middle Ages
Simon Barton (University of Exeter)

12:15–13:00 Creating Islands of Interfaith Trust in a Sea at War
Amy Remensnyder (Brown University)

13:00–14:30 Lunch



Dr. Nora Berend