Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Christians, Muslims and Jews in Al-Andalus

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Spanish and Latin American Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit focuses on the following main issues: the Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula (8th century A.D.); the unique historical and cultural experience resulting from the co-existence of the three monotheistic religions in one single region; the social, artistic and religious institutions during four centuries of Umayyad rule; the literary, artistic, scientific and religious creativity characterising much of the Muslim period, and the decline of Muslim rule in the face of the Reconquista of the Iberian peninsula by the Hispanics. After covering the main historical background to this period, the study-unit introduces students to the three monotheistic religions. This is followed by exposure to the artistic achievements of this era. Students are given basic readings which they cover privately with a view to preparing class-presentations towards the end of the study-unit. Moreover, lectures include powerpoint presentations as well as audio-visual materials, particularly videos, highlighting salient themes about the rise and fall of Al-Andalus.

Study-unit Aims:

- To familiarize students with Spanish history from 711 to1492.
- To introduce students to the three monotheistic religions and their rich cultural heritage.
- To highlight the scientific, artistic, literary, and architectural achievements of the historical period under review.
- To explore the linguistic implications of Muslim rule in Al-Andalus.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- To recognize the various Andalusi literary, artistic and architectural styles.
- To evaluate and appreciate the common cultural elements linking the three monotheistic religions.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to discuss issues with reference to a variety of perspectives: political, historical and cultural.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

- Baer Yitzhak, History of the Jews in Christian Spain. Vols. 1 and 2, Jewish Publication Society of America. Philadelphia, 1961. (available)
- Chejne Anwar G, Muslim Spain. Its History and Culture, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1974. (available)
- Fletcher R, Moorish Spain, University of California Press, Berkley, Los Angeles, 2006.
- Harvey L.P, Islamic Spain 1250-1500, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992. (available)
- Jackson G, The Making of Medieval Spain, Thames and Hudson LTD, London, 1972. (available)
- Lowney C, A Vanished World, Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Spain, Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Montgomery Watt W, Cachia P, A History of Islamic Spain, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1992. (available)

ADDITIONAL NOTES The language of instruction of this study-unit is English. Students can follow this study-unit without having any knowledge of Spanish.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel A. Vassallo

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.