In the Light of Medieval Spain
This book examines the significance of the medieval Spanish past f0r understanding the relationship between “the West” and Islam. It envisions this scholarly search as an ethically and politically necessary form of inquiry.
If the idea of the medieval has been widely deployed in the colonial and neocolonial West as a marker of cultural backwardness, the Anglo-American perspective has often regarded Spain as part of a historically underdeveloped world and as a late-comer to Protestant/Enlightenment traditions of democracy, tolerance, and progress. Yet the many cultural dimensions of medieval Iberia make it pressingly relevant to current critiques of western modernity. This volume brings into dialogue historians and literary scholars in medieval and modern Iberian cultures.
"The word light in the book's title hints at the intention of the editors and the contributors alike, the desire to shine a new light on the history of Spain, a reconception that acknowledges the continuity and pertinency of its medieval past...This collection offers much material for debate and reflection, and the essays are well written, well edited, and well integrated with each other. This is an exceptional read." -Darlene Abreu-Ferreira, University of Winnipeg
"The reviewer cannot begin to do justice (in the space allotted) to these thoughtful, boundary pushing and provocative essays ... The editors and authors are to be thanked for making medieval and early modern studies speak to a broader audience of humanists, not by facile analogy or drawing superficial parallels but rather by effectively employing critical vocabulary, theory, and thinking central to the broader trajectories of humanistic research today."Ross Brann, Cornell University
Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos
"This groundbreaking collection of essays offers a series of refreshingly new, daringly diverse, and boldly political ways of reading the Spanish Middle Ages today, making a forceful case for the continued relevance of Spanish history for our conflict-ridden world."Sebastiaan Faber, Oberlin College