INTELEG: The Intellectual and Material Legacies of Late Medieval Sephardic Judaism:
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Funded by the ERC (European Research Council)- Hosting Institution: CSIC
Project duration in months: 48
From the 13th to the 15th centuries, the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula (Sepharad) lived side by side with Christians and Muslims. Although persistent tensions existed between these three groups, their members also participated in a common artistic, intellectual and scientific endeavour that produced the requisite conditions for the dawn of the European Renaissance in a number of key aspects. The worldviews of each of the three communities revolved around their sacred texts—the Hebrew and Latin Bibles and the Qur’an. This project will take Judaism and its sacred text as a focal point, and will explore its role and impact in Late Medieval society at large.
The project will coordinate the research of a group of international young scholars engaged in groundbreaking work in their fields, all sharing a cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary perspective. As a group, we will analize a wide range of concepts related to the Scriptures of medieval Jews—the production of sacred texts as objects; the history of their cataloguing and preservation; the multiple and conflicting interpretations of their contents; their role as social agents that fostered coexistence or created exclusions; their impact in literature and the arts; their relationship with medieval science; and their relationship to Muslim and Christian Scriptures.
This project has a special relevance for today’s multicultural and pluralistic Europe as it can help to properly contextualize varying modern approaches to sacred texts, including fundamentalist readings, it can bring about a greater understanding of the historical roots of modern intercultural conflict and, ultimately, contribute to the development of non essentialist theories of race and culture.