The Impact of Arab-Muslim Culture on Other Cultures of Al-Andalus
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This paper considers the relationships among different communities in Islamic Spain or al-Andalus, including Christians, Jews, Arabs, and hybrid groups like the Mozarabs. Convivencia, or living together, dominated the Andalusian period of Spanish history: for the most part, different ethnic and religious groups lived in harmony and influenced each other's culture and art forms, as was the case in the Arab influence on the growth of literary Hebrew. Although the reconquista sought to reject the Islamic contribution to Spanish culture, identification with this history persisted in architectural choices clearly influenced by Islamic motifs made well after Islamic rule was overturned.
From the Paper:"Although the rich syncretic culture of al-Andalus, in which Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religions and cultures merged and coexisted for nearly six centuries in what is now Spain, was not unique to the Islamic world, which frequently tolerated and lived side-by-side with other groups, al-Andalus was distinctly different from the rest of Europe in terms of the prevalence of diverse religious and ethnic groups. The spirit of convivencia, literally "living together, that characterized al-Andalus was emphatically and, in many cases, violently put down by the Spanish reconquista and the Spanish, to this day, according to Maria Rosa Menocal, try to deny or minimize al-Andalus's place in Spanish history. Despite this, al-Andalus is the object of much nostalgia and admiration to scholars, who study and celebrate the literary, artistic, and cultural results of Andalusi fusions. This paper will seek to examine the relationships that existed among groups in Islamic Spain, to assess the impact of the Arab-Muslim culture on other Andalusi cultures, to explore the role of Arabic literature in the literary growth of Hebrew, and, finally, to consider Spanish Islamic architecture's influence on Christian and Jewish monuments.
"Islamic Spain was home to a variety of diverse groups, among them Christians, Jews, and Arabs. When attempting to categorize and describe these groups, however, one must take into consideration the limitations of modern understandings of language, religion, and culture in relationship to the permeability of these identifications in al-Andalus. As Maria Rosa Menocal notes in her analysis of academia's tendency to "divvy up" al-Andalus among Spanish, Islamic, and Jewish scholars, "al-Andalus... has been divided among the single-language lines, derivative of national canons, that are in fact inimical to the Middle Ages in general and extravagantly noxious to al-Andalus" (8). The Spanish term moro as it was used contemporary to al-Andalus seems more capable of communicating the complicated relationships between race, identity, and religion in al-Andalus. Although the use of moro by Spanish Christians to describe non-Christians could sometimes be derogatory, it hinted with "appropriate vagueness" at "an 'other' that was not Christian and was not Jewish... clearly include[ing] other aspects of identity--language and culture for example--suggesting that there was more at stake than just religion" (Menocal 12)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Works Cited
- Brann, Ross. ``The Arabized Jews.'' The Literature of Al-Andalus. Eds. Maria Rosa Menocal
- and Raymond P. Scheindlin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 435-454.
- Dodds, Jerrilynn D. ``Spaces.'' The Literature of Al-Andalus. Eds. Maria Rosa Menocal
- and Raymond P. Scheindlin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 83-95.
Cite this Research Paper:
The Impact of Arab-Muslim Culture on Other Cultures of Al-Andalus (2015, January 01) Retrieved April 04, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/the-impact-of-arab-muslim-culture-on-other-cultures-of-al-andalus-154093/
"The Impact of Arab-Muslim Culture on Other Cultures of Al-Andalus" 01 January 2015. Web. 04 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/the-impact-of-arab-muslim-culture-on-other-cultures-of-al-andalus-154093/>