Convivencia is traditionally the term for designing the cooperative and conflictual coexistence of Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities in the medieval Iberian Peninsula. The conference will study this phenomenon with regard to the interacting dimensions of representations, knowledge and identities. Representation stands for all forms of cultural production in art, religion, literature, science and law. Knowledge includes not only science but also forms of practical, social as well as other forms of knowledge. The concept of identity refers to the individual and collective imaging of the self and the other.

The aim of the conference is to address a formative period of Europe with its cultural and religious heterogeneity from a multidisciplinary perspective. The encounters and exchanges between Jewish, Christian and Islamic communities and elites constitute a historical laboratory of great significance for understanding interaction and transformation processes of cultures in the millennium between the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the early modern period. The conference marks the launching of the CSIC-MPG joint research initiative "Convivencia". Aspects of these processes have been studied by single disciplines in an isolated manner. The challenge of the conference is to overcome such division and focus instead on overarching questions which create an intense dialogue and collaboration between the disciplines themselves.

Principal questions of the conference includes:

  • The appropriation of past forms of art and science in new contexts.
  • Representation of contact and conflict in texts and images.
  • Transmission and transformation of institutional and legal models.
  • Spaces of Convivencia (learning places, sacred and profane spaces, etc.)

This Conference supports the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities