Denison: 'The Arabic Gospels'
Name: Denison: 'The Arabic Gospels'
Date: March 6, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM EST
The Global Studies Seminar welcomes Jason Busic, professor of modern languages at Denison, presenting “Language, Religion, and Identity in Medieval Iberia: the Arabic Gospels.” Medieval Spain is well-known for “Convivencia,” or how Jews, Christians, and Muslims co-existed peacefully for centuries in one geographical space. Recent scholarship, however, has problematized this vision. For example, Iberia’s cultural situation was not unique, but rather constituted the norm for the medieval Mediterranean. And while Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side throughout the inland sea, even the most peaceful times were characterized by tension as different communities negotiated their identities vis-a-vis the other and before the imminent threat of blurring religious, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. This presentation explores the negotiation of religious identities as it takes place in a series of Gospel manuscripts in Arabic that passed through Christian and Muslim hands, span the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries, and traveled through Iberia and North Africa. The study asks what these texts tell us about “living together” in the Middle Ages and how they might inform current discussions on religious and cultural identity in the contemporary, globalized landscape. Denison University’s Global Studies Seminars are interdisciplinary intellectual forums to discuss and debate academic and policy issues of global importance.