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Grant number like: FA-50088-04

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Janina M. Safran
Penn State (University Park, PA 16802-1503)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 12/31/2004

Defining Boundaries: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Islamic Iberia

The project is to complete research for a book examining Muslim, Christian, and Jewish relations in Islamic Iberia from the 8th-11th centuries. This period encompassed political change as well as social and cultural transformation expressed in, and propelled by, acculturation to Arabic-Islamic language and norms, interfaith marriage, and conversion to Islam (and some conversion to Christianity). Based largely on contemporary Arabic chronicles, biographical dictionaries, and legal-religious texts, the book elucidates the dynamics of communal identity and differentiation in this context and demonstrates how political and religious authorities, and individuals and families, articulated, contested, and negotiated communal boundaries. The study will thus demonstrate how politics, society, culture and religion in Islamic Iberia were defined by competitive pluralism, providing a more vital understanding of the period and the processes of change, and investing with analytical meaning certain conventional representations such as "Islamic tolerance" and "convivencia".