Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)

Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)

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Descripción de “Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)”

This course explores Jewish, Christian, and Muslim intercultural relations in Iberia from the Visigothic era (6th century CE) until the creation of Queen Isabel I and King Ferdinand II Catholic Spain (late 15th century). We evaluate the many identities of the peninsula known as Christian Hispania, Jewish Sefarad, and Islamic al-Andalus.

We trace the origins and trajectory of conflict between these communities (the Muslim conquest of Spain, Christian Reconquista, prohibitions blocking intermixing of peoples, and expulsions). We aim to understand conflicts within communities as well, such as the tensions between Christian Arian Visigoths and native Catholic Iberians or the fundamentalist North African Almohad Dynasty that rejected the Spanish Umayyad Caliphate’s preference for religious tolerance. We delve into an appreciation of collaboration and coexistence among these communities. We explore the unique role of the Jewish community who Muslims and Christians depended upon as political and cultural intermediaries as well as their intellectual collaborators. We find the history of how peoples attempted to create and manage viable diverse communities. As we study this history, the Honors Track will employ an investigative process (“The Historian’s Craft”) that involves viewing, reading, analyzing, and reflecting on events, peoples, places, and artifacts.

Who is this class for: What type of student are you? Casual observer. Interested learner. Engaged investigator. When I first began studying the history of medieval Spain — almost thirty-years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin — it was just a topic that I was curious about. That changed. Garrison Hall and its History Department became a gateway to a new way of viewing our world. The history of coexistence in medieval Spain shaped the rest of my life, first as an undergraduate (1988-1992) and later as a doctoral candidate (2002-2008), and I believe it might do the same for you. Medieval Spain is one of these places that invites your curiosity to the get the best of you! What I’d you to do as you start this course during Week 1 is to ask yourself a few questions so that you can maximize your enjoyment of the course. The questions you will ask are: Why are you interested in medieval Spain and its history of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interrelations? What do you hope to learn from this course? How do you learn and what types of information are most meaningful to you? How much time and effort do you want to dedicate to this course? After completing the course, do you think you will want to study more about Spain and its history ? These questions and your responses will help determine what type of student are you. Remember: There is no ideal type of student. Find what works best for you!



Introduction to Medieval Spain and Coexistence (418-711 CE)

This week introduces the ideas of co-existence in medieval Spain. We begin our study of medieval Spain by briefly viewing Roman Spain and then learning about the Visigoths. We also offer supplemental information that contextualizes medieval Iberia within the European, Byzantine, and Islamic civilization. The honors section of the course introduces “The Historian’s Craft” and the task of “viewing”.

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Introduction to Coexistence

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Roman and Visigothic Hispania

Graded: Practicing the Historian’s Craft: “Viewing”



In this section of the course, we advance our investigation of medieval Spain as we learn about Islamic al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) and Jewish Sefarad (Jewish Spain). This includes a study of the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Spain and the subsequent development of the Umayyad Dynasty. We evalaute the complexities of conflicts between religious groups and within religious groups. We witness interfaith collaboration. Islamic sciences are presented as well as the Golden Age of the Spanish Jews. We view Islamic art and architecture, and lastly, in our honors section continue with our study of the Historian’s Craft and the task of “reading”.

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Islamic Conquest of Visigothic Hispania

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Islamic Al-Andalus

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Sefarad: Jewish Spain

Graded: Practicing the Historian’s Craft: “Reading”


Forging A Christian Future: Christian Spain (711-1212 CE) and the Castilian Ascent In Spain (1212-1347 CE)

First, we continue with investigation of the third principal culture of Iberian Peninsula — Spanish Christian Hispania. We seek out more specific examples of the Christian kingdom’s impact on political, religious, social, intellectual, and economic issues. Next, we examine the rise of the Spanish Christian Kingdom of Castile and Leon and the impact of King Alfonso X “The Learned”. We study how Spanish Christians created culture through material objects and architecture. In addition, we explore the complications of Christians governing religious minorities in their lands. The honors section of the course continues with our study of the Historian’s Craft and the task of “analyzing”.

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Making Christian Hispania

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: King Alfonso X “The Wise” and Jewish Communities Under Christian Rule

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Castilians Creating Culture through Objects

Graded: Practicing the Historian’s Craft: “Analyzing”


Creating Conversos and Rejecting Religious Diversity: Catholic Spain (1347-1502 CE)

This section of the course presents the end of coexistence in medieval Spain, which was characterized by the creation of new types of peoples (conversos, Jewish converts to Christianity) and religious intolerance and expulsions. Multiple examples of the fluctuations in the relationships of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, are examined as Catholic Spain took shape. Special attention is also directed to Spanish archives that preserve this history. We take a closer look at the end of convivencia in the city of Plasencia, Spain, and view a digital video narration. As the Spanish Middle Ages did not occur in a vacuum, we share with you eight scholarly endeavors from the “Global Middle Ages” Project. The honors section of the course continues with our study of the Historian’s Craft and the task of “reflecting” and feature the music of the Texas Early Music Project.

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Formation of Catholic Spain and Its Impact on Religious Minorities

Graded: REQUIRED CORE: Creating Conversos at the End of Positive Coexistence

Graded: Practicing the Historian’s Craft: “Reflecting”


Interpreting Iberia’s Past: Our Evaluation of the Evidence

The final section of the course prompts students in the Honors Track to interpret and evaluate a historical artifact from medieval Spain (a material object, architecture, or a manuscript). This peer-reviewed project is not a required to complete the course as a regular student.

Graded: Artifact Analysis Peer Review Project

Especificaciones: Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)

Curso ofrecido por

✔ Disponible



Impartido por

Roger Louis Martínez-Dávila



Nivel, duración y fechas





5 semanas

Tiempo necesario

1-5 horas/semana

Idioma del curso
Idioma vehicular



No informado

Exámenes y Certificados

Certificado de Pago


Con Examen/Proyecto Final de pago

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Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)
Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Coursera)

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