World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


THE WAYS OF CULTURAL TRANSMISSION IN THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (10TH-15TH CENTURIES) - 2/4: Religion and Society in the Western Mediterranean (1300-1500) (317) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 11.30 am-1.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: ICREA and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Alexander Fidora and Fèlix Retamero

· NOT_DEFINED language: English/Français

· NOT_DEFINED description: The intercultural networks between Jewish, Christian and Arabic communities during the Middle Ages have played a decisive role in the evolution of Western thought and have helped to shape the European identity.

The goal of this series of panels is to study the diverse facets of cultural transmission in the Western Mediterranean from the 11th to the 15th century. Today we know that the processes involved in this transmission were extremely complex, since transfer of knowledge among the different cultural and religious communities along the Mediterranean was both multi-directional and multi-layered, including both religious and social aspects.

The focus of this panel will be on Religion and Society in the Western Mediterranean from 1300-1500. The panel will include papers on on the new social organisation after the Christian conquests of al-Andalus (13th-15th centuries) (Dr. Miquel Barceló); Ramon Llull (1232–1316) and his draft for a history of religions (Dr. Alexander Fidora); Arnau de Vilanova (c. 1240–1311) and his dating of the end of the age of Islam (Dr. Jaume Mensa); and finally Pope Benedict XIII (d. 1423) and the role of his special libraries of (anti)heretical literature (Mr. Christoph Körner, Dipl. Theol.).

Chair: José Martínez Gázquez

Paper presenter: Miquel Barceló, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, “The Llibres de Repartiment (13th-16th C.): The Formal Solution of a Problem”
The first known “Llibre del Repartiment” is the manuscript by which king James the First allotted, in circa 1232, portions of measured land to conquerors of the island of Majorca. A similar procedure was in operation later on in mainland València. At the end of the century the Castilian conquerors of Seville produced a detailed text recording the shares of land attributed to the colonists. The conquest of Granada in 1492 was followed by numerous documents of Repartimiento. And finally in 1514, at La Española (Sto. Domingo), Rodrigo de Albuquerque, in the name of the king, distributed among Spaniards Indians, not land. Conquests, then, were textually fixed by a public document with a nomina of conquerors. In all Spanish cases, the indigenous population were unambiguously omitted. In the Caribbean instance indians were given out. My paper will try to find an explanation for this change of emphasis.

Paper presenter: Alexander Fidora, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, “Ramon Llull’s Doctrina pueril: Elements for a History of Religion”
Dedicated to his son Domingo, the Doctrina pueril (1274-1276) by Ramon Llull sets out an alternative educational programme for children, which comprises not only a general introduction to the liberal arts and several issues concerning christian life, but also a description of Judaism and Islam. Presenting these religions from a clearly historical point of view, these descriptions can be read as a short history of the religions which offers various data of high relevance for the intepretation of Llull’s overall thought. In my paper I shall focus on the foundational legend of Islam, as it is depicted by Llull.

Paper presenter: Jaume Mensa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, “Arnau de Vilanova, l'Islam et la prophétie de la Sibil•la Eritrea”
Dans les oeuvres d'Arnau de Vilanova l'Islam est aussi présenté comme un phénomène historique. Et comme tout phénomène simplement historique il doit avoir une
fin. Dans les oeuvres de la polémique de Paris (1299-1301), Arnau de Vilanova est convaincu que l'heure dernière n'est pas arrivée (et en conséquence il croit qu'une croisade serait inutile). Par contre, vers la fin de sa vie, dans les dernières oeuvres (1309-1310), Arnau de Vilanova afirme que «ara és vengut lo temps en què deu faylir lur secta [Islam]» (Informació espiritual, 240/14-15) et il fait même des gestions pour demander le titre de roi de Jérusalem en faveur de Frederic de Sicília. La prophétie de la Sibylle Érythréenne a été utilisée déjà dans les premières oeuvres pour calculer les temps où l'Islam devrait arriver à sa fin. Sûrement la polémique entre Arnau de Vilanova et Martí d'Ateca –qu'on peut reconstruire grâce à l'Antidotum... – sur quelques aspects concrets de ce calcul influençait sur le changement de point de vue d'Arnau. Une étude sur comme Arnau de Vilanova utilise et interprète les textes de la prophétie de la sibylle (editées critiquement par Christian Jostmann, Hannover 2006) permetrait de comprendre mieux le changement des propositions.

Paper presenter: Christoph Körner, Phil.-Theol. Hochschule St. Georgen, Frankfurt,
“Religion as heresy? (Anti)heretical literature in the libraries of Benedict XIII”
There are at least three libraries, which can be assigned to Benedict XIII (Pope 1394-1423) in correlation with three periods of his life – the pontifical library in Avignon before his escape, the portable library for its use during several years of travelling in the south of France, in the Italian northwest, in the territories of the Crown of Aragon, and the library in Peñiscola after his retreat to the local castle. Each one contains a certain number of books either from Jewish, Muslim and heretical Christian authors or concerning ‘Judaism’, ‘Islam’ and Christian heresies. In a primary stage these books are to be found more widespread, in later time their increasing number constitutes a separate collection within the library. The question is, on the one hand, if there was – behind the feature described – a special concept of perceiving ‘Judaism’ and ‘Islam’ not as ‘religions’ but as heresies, and, on the other hand, if this kind of literature took any function in the religious/theological self-conception of Benedict XIII.