'Spain of the Three Religions'
Spain’s medieval culture explored through the rich and complex relationships between Muslims, Jews and Christians, in a series of three lectures.
Throughout history, Spain has been a meeting ground for Muslim, Jewish and Christian ideas. We explore the intersections and differences of those religions in Spain’s medieval art, literature and gastronomy with the experts in this monthly series.
- ‘A Garden Enclosed: The Poetry of Medieval Spain’ by Peter Cole
- On Tuesday, October 1, 12-1 pm. Buy tickets: $21.
- Peter Cole looks into the hybrid literary culture that took shape, flourished, and eventually declined in Iberia between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. From the Arabic verse lining the walls of the Alhambra to the sensuous, worldly, religious, and above all wise poems of the Hebrew Golden Age, and on to the hidden origins of the Spanish and very possibly the European poetic tradition as a whole, explore the remarkably cross-fertilized world of medieval Spain’s writers will surprise even those who know the land well. Peter Cole’s translations from Hebrew and Arabic include The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition and The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. A new book poems, The Invention of Influence, is forthcoming. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.
- ‘Al Andalus: Interaction and Identity in the Arts of Islam, Christianity and Judaism’ by Jerrilyn Dodds
- On Tuesday, October 22, 12-1 pm. Buy tickets: $21.
- Explore the arts of Islamic, Christian and Jewish communities in the Medieval Iberian peninsula and the complex relationships of these three confessional groups. During the 700 years in which Christians, Muslims and Jews interacted in Islamic Spain, every kind of interaction occurred: open hostility, resistance, acculturation, and one of the most creative and fruitful levels of ambivalence known in the Middle Ages. Learn about the relationships between the religious groups, and the cultural and political implications of their artistic and architectural interactions. Jerrilyn D. Dodds is Dean of the College of Sarah Lawrence College, and lecturer and consultant at the Met. She is co-author of Arts of Intimacy.
- ‘The Cuisine of Medieval Spain’ by Paul Freedman
- On Tuesday, November 12, 12-1pm. Buy tickets: $21.
- Learn about Spanish food prior to the voyages to America. In food, as in so many other areas of culture, Spain was a meeting ground for Muslim, Jewish and Christian ideas —even though the three religions had different ideas about dietary laws and fasting. The Mediterranean was an important influence, but so were the tastes of the Islamic world, with its use of spices and vegetables such as eggplant , spinach and dried fruit. The food of the Middle Ages is still seen in distinctive Spanish dishes today. Talk includes a demonstration by the restaurant La Vara, whose chef Alex Raij was voted Chef of the Year by the 2012 Eater Awards. Paul Freedman is professor of history at Yale. He has written on medieval Spanish society, especially in Catalonia, and is the author of a book about spices in the Middle Ages. He is the editor of Food: The History of Taste.