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Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today

10 May, 2015 11:23
Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today
Neighboring Faiths provides a cogent and powerful intervention into one of the most debated topics and thorniest issues in the history of the late medieval West: How did Christians, Muslims, and Jews live with each other and think about one another? The book will be of extraordinary importance not only for specialists in the field but also for general readers and anyone interested in the relations among the three religions and in the enduring discussion on ‘the clash of civilizations,’ an argument Nirenberg demolishes in an elegant but forceful manner. There are no books presently in print that even approach Nirenberg’s in terms of its themes, thoroughness, or interpretive thrust.”
 (Teofilo F. Ruiz, University of California, Los Angeles)


“Using medieval Iberia—the ‘land of three religions’—as his  principal point of departure, Nirenberg highlights the dynamic, often ambivalent and fractious, yet interdependent relationship among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Whether focused on matters of scripture or sexuality, philosophy or poetry, conversion or conflict, he offers a brilliant and provocative demonstration of medieval conceptions of both race and religion. Neighboring Faiths is scholarship at its very best, successfully challenging current notions about the so-called clash of civilizations and even Benedict XVI on the supposed incompatibility of Christianity and Islam.”
 (Richard L. Kagan, Johns Hopkins University)


“Neighboring Faiths maneuvers masterfully between readings of the tense and sometimes violent multicultural Iberian past and bold assessments of their lessons for our tense and sometimes violent multicultural present. Nirenberg has an uncanny knack for dwelling on—and in—interstices, and for asking the difficult questions that ‘being between’ often prompts. This is a keenly intelligent, cautionary collection—one that makes eloquent connections across the centuries.”
 (Peter Cole, author of The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950–1492)


“Nirenberg succeeds in cultivating a sensibility that allows us to discover in the past a stimulus to critical awareness about the workings of our own assumptions about the relations among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and habits of thought. Among those habits is the conviction that our religious traditions are independent of one another, that they are stable, and that one contains truth and tolerance while the others do not. Conversely, this book proposes the interdependence of these religions, a process in which they are constantly transforming themselves by thinking about one another in a fundamentally ambivalent form of neighborliness.”
 (Mercedes García-Arenal Rodríguez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid)
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Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today
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