Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614

Article excerpt

MUSLIMS IN SPAIN, 1500 TO 1614 by L.P. HARVEY University of Chicago Press, 448 pages, $40

At the end of the fifteenth century, Spain was the only Christian country with large Jewish and Muslim minorities. Andalusia had been ruled by the Muslims, who conquered Spain in the early eighth century. They had created a rich and diverse Arabic culture that included Jews and Christians. It is likely that the first translations of the Qur'an into Latin can be traced to contacts between Christian and Muslim scholars in Spain. But over the centuries, the Catholic kingdoms in the central and northern part of the peninsula had gradually driven back die Muslims in the Reconquista. With the conquest of Granada in 1492, the Muslims became subject to Christian rule. The expulsion of the Jews (the estimate is 170,000) by the Catholic rulers is well known, but the parallel story, no less lachrymose, is the deportation (or forced conversion) of thousands of Muslim subjects. …

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