Christianity, Islam & Judaism in the Spanish Context (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Christianity, Islam & Judaism in the Spanish Context (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This class focuses on the role of the three main monotheistic religions in Spanish history, from Antiquity to Modern-Day Spain. Discussion will focus on the role of Catholicism and other religions in a Democratic Spain, in interaction with the growing population of Muslim immigrants, Jewish communities, and the establishment of Churches of various denominations around the country. Excursions to important historical sites in Seville will be an integral part of the in situ learning objectives of the course

    Course Goals and Methodology
    Students will come prepared to class, after working with the assigned pages from the readings, primary sources, key questions and other material supplied by the instructor. The course will alternate classroom sessions with excursions to different sites related to the material covered, in Seville and out of town.

    Learning Objectives
    Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
    1. Understand the cultural and historical meaning of religion and religions within the Spanish historical context.
    2. Recognize the historical evolution and influence of religion in today´s world.

    Required Texts
    Selection of readings available online (Blackboard).

    Course Requirements and Grading
    Oral participation is very important, and each student is expected to contribute enthusiastically and to be courteous while in class. The participation grade will take into account the initiative and creativity during the different activities scheduled during the course, but also any outside activity that the student may participate in.

    There are two exams and a final examination. Students will also write two historical document commentaries. Specific information on this assignment and the visit will be given in due course.

    The final grade is broken down as follows:
    Class Participation 10%
    Commentary 1 15%
    Commentary 2 15%
    Exams 60% (30% each)

    All assignments will be graded using the Spanish grading scale, please see the UPO student handbook for further details.

    Attendance and Punctuality
    Attendance is mandatory. More than 3 unexcused absences will result in the lowering of the final grade. Students with more than 2 such absences may not challenge the final grade received. Punctuality is required ? lateness will be penalised by 0.5 (over 15 mins) or 1 absence (over 30 mins)

    Academic Dishonesty
    Academic integrity is a guiding principle for all academic activity at Pablo de Olavide University. Cheating on exams and plagiarism (which includes copying from the internet) are clear violations of academic honesty. A student is guilty of plagiarism when he or she presents another person?s intellectual property as his or her own. The penalty for plagiarism and cheating is a failing grade for the assignment/exam and a failing grade for the course. Avoid plagiarism by citing sources properly (using footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography).

    Students with Disabilities
    If you have a disability that requires special academic accommodation, please speak to your professor within the first three (3) weeks of the semester in order to discuss any adjustments. It is the student's responsibility to provide the International Center with documentation confirming the disability and the accommodations required (if you have provided this to your study abroad organization, they have most likely informed the International Center already but please confirm).

    Behavior Policy
    Students are expected to show integrity and act in a professional and respectful manner at all times. A student?s attitude in class may influence his/her participation grade. The professor has a right to ask a student to leave the classroom if the student is unruly or appears intoxicated. If a student is asked to leave the classroom, that day will count as an absence regardless of how long the student has been in class.

    Class Schedule
    1. Introduction to the course: Religion and Religions in Spanish History.
    2. Paganism, Monotheism and Heresy in Roman Hispania.
    3. Visigothic Hispania.
    4. al-Andalus I. Arabization and Islamization
    5. al-Andalus II. The Caliphate of Córdoba
    6. Al-Andalus III. Faith and Reason: Aristotle, Averroës & St Thomas of Aquinas
    7. Medieval Christian Iberia I. Political divisions and religious unity
    8. Medieval Christian Iberia II. Reconquest and Ideology
    9. The Catholic Monarchs.
    10. The Expulsion and Diaspora of Sephardic Jews. The Expulsion and Diaspora of Moriscos.
    11. Enlightenment and Liberalism. The Constitution of 1876: Limited Religious Freedom and the Return of the Jews.
    12. The 'Religious Question' during the II Republic and the Spanish Civil War. From National Catholicism to the Non-Confessional State: Francoism and the Transition to Democracy.
    13. Religion(s) and religiosity in Spain today

    This syllabus is subject to change.
    Álvarez Junco, José and Adrian Schubert (eds.). Spanish History Since 1808. Hodder Arnold, 2000.
    Barton, Simon. A History of Spain. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
    Constable, Olivia R. (ed.). Medieval Iberia. Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
    Cowans, Jon (ed.). Early Modern Spain. A Documentary History. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.
    Cowans, Jon (ed.). Modern Spain. A Documentary History. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.
    Fernández-Armesto, Felipe and Derek Wilson. Reformations. A Radical Interpretation of Christianity and the World (1500-2000). Scribner, 1996.
    Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. Penguin, 2006.
    Jayyusi, Salma K. (ed.). The legacy of Muslim Spain. Brill, 1992.
    Kedourie, Elie (ed.). Spain and the Jews. The Sephardi Experience, 1492 and After. Thames & Hudson, 1992.
    Madariaga, Mª Rosa de. ?The intervention of Moroccan troops in the Spanish Civil War: A Reconsideration.? European History Quarterly, 22(1992): 67-97.
    Menocal, Mª Rosa. The Ornament of the World. How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. Little, Brown and Co., 2002.
    Phillips, William D. and Phillips, Carla R. A Concise History of Spain. Cambridge UP, 2010.
    Pike, Ruth. Aristocrats and Traders: Sevillian Society in the Sixteenth Century. Cornell UP, 1972.
    Rodríguez-Salgado, Mia. ?Christians, Civilised and Spanish: Multiple identities in Sixteenth Century Spain.? Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 8(1998): 233-251.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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