The Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Dynamics in the History of religions between Asia and Europe"cordially invites all interested parties to attend its two upcoming workshops!
The Iberian Peninsula of the Middle Ages is quite often described as an ideal place of religious encounters. Terms like "golden century" are sometimes employed to describe that time. Although descriptions like that are in more than one respect difficult they point to an important aspect. Time and place in focus made it possible that members of three major religions – Christians, Muslims, and Jews – met and exchanged knowledge and religious ideas. Translations of Arabic-written scientific and religious works into Hebrew or Latin were numerous, but also translations of Latin works into Hebrew or even into Arabic took place. These translations as well as personal encounters enabled religious thinkers to their own religious beliefs and to develop new religious insights.
Thus, the Iberian Peninsula forms the ideal place to show how the contact between members of the three monotheistic religions had an impact on their respective religious language.
Recently researchers in religious studies have been increasingly critical of earlier generations of scholars' tendency to study only those religions that had a strong textual tradition, and then to treat these "textual" religions as monolithic in nature. Spiritual practices and beliefs that fell outside such textually defined creeds and rituals, or which were related to these traditions but differed considerably from expected practices as set forth by "accepted" texts have often been dubbed as "deviant", "popular," "heretical", or "magical", sometimes by practitioners' contemporaries and sometimes by scholars of religion themselves.
This workshop seeks to focus specifically on religious customs or beliefs that are or were outside conventional definitions of "religion." Specifically, participants will explore the practices of co-opting, transfer, resistance, or transformation within these various forms of "religions outside religions" and, where relevant, the reactions to them.