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.
Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and MuslimsUniversity of Colorado System
About this Course
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Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
Introduction to Medieval Spain and Coexistence (418-711 CE)
This week introduces the idea of co-existence in medieval Spain. We begin our study of medieval Spain by briefly viewing Roman Spain and then learning about the Visigoths. Supplemental information places medieval Iberia within the contexts of European, Byzantine, and Islamic civilizations. The honors section of the course introduces "The Historian's Craft" and the task of "viewing".
DEVELOPING DYNAMIC CULTURES: ISLAMIC AL-ANDALUS AND JEWISH SEFARAD (711-1212 CE)
In this section of the course, we advance our investigation of medieval Spain to 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 evaluate the complexities of conflicts between religious groups and within religious groups. We witness interfaith collaboration. Islamic sciences are presented as is the Golden Age of the Spanish Jews. We view Islamic art and architecture. Lastly, in our honors section we continue with our study of the Historian's Craft and the task of "reading".
Forging A Christian Future: Christian Spain (711-1212 CE) and the Castilian Ascent In Spain (1212-1347 CE)
First, we continue with an 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".
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), 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 features the music of the Texas Early Music Project.
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.
- 5 stars71.68%
- 4 stars19.46%
- 3 stars1.76%
- 2 stars3.53%
- 1 star3.53%
TOP REVIEWS FROM COEXISTENCE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN: JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS
Broadly learned the history of Spain with some visual information.
This course was rreally insiteful and thought provoking as well as very informative. I really enjoyed this one.
Very interesting, and informative. I thank the Professor for a wonderful class.
My only real complaints are that a lot of the material repeated (readings saying the same as the lecture) and that the lecturer's pronunciation of Spanish names really irked me.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?
Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:
The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
What will I get if I purchase the Certificate?
When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.
Which organizations are participating in this MOOC?
This course, along with all Deciphering Secrets MOOCs, is a collaborative endeavor of Dr. Roger L. Martinez-Davila, the University of Colorado System, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain). This project has received funding from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement nº 600371, el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (COFUND2013-51509) and Banco Santander. Additional funding provided by University of Colorado System, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and coursera.org. We are grateful for the generous formal and informal participation of approximately 20 institutions, organizations, and academics have contributed content to the Coexistence in Medieval Spain MOOC.
Archivo de la Catedral de Burgos (Archidiocesis de Burgos)
- Matias Vicario Santamaria
Archivo Historico de la Nobleza (Ministerio de Cultura, Educacion y Deporte de España)
- Aránzazu Lafuente Urién
- Miguel F. Gómez Vozmediano
Archivo Municipal de Burgos (Ayuntamiento de Burgos)
- Milagros Moratinos Palomero
Archivo Municipal de Plasencia (Ayuntamiento de Plasencia)
- Esther Sanchez Calle
Archivo Municipal de Toledo (Ayuntamiento de Toledo)
- Mariano García Ruipérez
Archivo y Biblioteca de la Catedral de Toledo (Archidiocesis de Toledo)
- Ángel Fernández Collado
- Isidoro Castañeda Todera
Centro Sefarad Israel (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación, Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, y Ayuntamiento de Madrid)
- Sonia Sanchez
- Esther Bendahan
Simon Doubleday (Hoftra University (New York)
Jessica Fowler (IE School of International Relations)
Jane Gerber (CUNY-Graduate Center, NYC)
Global Middle Ages
- Geraldine Heng (University of Texas-Austin)
- Lynn Ramey (Vanderbilt University)
Hispanic Society of America (New York, USA)
- Margaret E. Connors McQuade
- Marcus B. Burke
- John O'Neill
Museo de Burgos (Junta de Castilla y Leon)
- Marta Negro Cobo
Museo Sefardi-Toledo (Ministerio de Cultura, Educacion y Deporte de España)
- Santiago Palomero Plaza
- Carmen Álvarez Nogales
Museo de los Concilios y la Cultura Visigoda-Toledo (Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha)
- Fernando Luis Fontes Blanco
Museo de Santa Cruz-Toledo (Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha)
- Fernando Luis Fontes Blanco
Museo Taller del Moro (Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha)
- Fernando Luis Fontes Blanco
New Mexico History Museum (State of New Mexico, USA)
- Andrew Wulf
- Josef Diaz
Anthony Puglisi (Cornell University)
Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project ("Virtual Plasencia")
- Victor R. Schinazi (ETH-Zurich)
- Paddington Hodza (University of Wyoming)
- Mubbasir Kapadia (Rutgers University)
- Sean Perrone (St. Anselm College)
- Francisco Garcia-Serrano Nebras (SLU-Madrid)
- Roger L. Martinez-Davila
Texas Early Music Project
- Daniel Johnson
- Stephanie Prewitt
- Allison Welch
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain)
- Jaime Alvar Ezquerra
- Maria Martin de Vidales Garcia
- Raúl Aguilera Ortega
- Rosa Sanchez Hernandez
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
- Juan Carlos Ruiz Souza
- Susana Calvo Capilla
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (USA)
- Paul Harvey
- Christina Jiménez
- Alycia Williams
- Kellen DeAlba
- Madelyn Husted
- David Walker
University of Colorado System (USA)
- Deborah Keyek-Franssen
University of Notre Dame Press (USA)
More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.