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

  • ECTS Credits

  • 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.

    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 understand the cultural and historical meaning of religion(s) within the Spanish historical context; as well to interpret religious traditions by examining religion(s) as historical, social, and cultural phenomena. Furthermore each student should be able to understand and interpret the subjective dimensions of religion(s) through analyses that explore the psychological, philosophical, and cognitive dynamics of religion and religious experience. And finally, to recognize the historical evolution and influence of religion and religions in today’s world.

    Required Texts

    There is not a single textbook for this class, but rather various readings for various sources, some of which include:  

    -Solomon N., Judaism. VSI series. Oxford U. Press. (2014)

    -Woodhead, L., Christianity. VSI series. Oxford U. Press. (2014)

    -Ruthven, M., Islam. VSI series. Oxford U. Press. (2012)

    -Barton, S. A History of Spain. Palgrave Macmillan Press. (2004)

    -Constable, O. R. (ed.). Medieval Iberia. UPenn Press. (1997)

    -Cowans, J. (ed.). Early Modern Spain. UPenn Press. (2003)

    -Cowans, J. (ed.). Modern Spain. UPenn Press. (2003)

    -Fletcher, R. Moorish Spain. University of California Press.  (2006).

    -Hooper, J. The New Spaniards. Penguin.  (2006)  

    Other readings may be added as well, and will also be part of the requirements.  All readings will be available online. 

    Class Schedule
    Block I – Introduction & the study of religion
    Session 1 – Course introduction: overview of syllabus, reasons to take this class
    Session 2 – The study of religion vs religion education. Religion in Spanish history. Geography of the Mediterranean world, and Iberia. Ancient civilizations & religious influence

    Block II – Abrahamic religions
    Session 3 to 6 – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

    Block III – Antiquity & the Early Middle Ages

    Session 7 to 9 – Paganism, Monotheism, and Heresy in Rome (& Hispania)

    Session 10 – Visigothic Hispania: Arians, Trinitarians, and Paganism?

    Session 11 & 12 – al-Andalus: Islamization & Arabization.  The Caliphate of Cordoba (9291031) 

    Session 13 – Midterm Exam (Mar. 8th) 

    Block IV – Medieval Iberia

    Session 14 – The birth & rise of Christian Iberia; political division & religious unity

    Session 15 – Cats puffed up to look like Lions: the party kingdoms of al-Andalus

    Session 16 – Reconquest and Ideology: then & now 

    Block V – Early Modern Iberia
    Session 17 – Mudejares, Marranos, Moriscos, Conversos,...
    Session 18 – 1492: Expulsion & Expansion (The Catholic Monarchs)
    Session 19 – Reformation & Counter-Reformation Block VI – Enlightenment, Reform, Revolution, and Constitutionalism

    Block VI – Enlightenment, Reform, Revolution, and Constitutionalism  

    Session 20 – 19th century: the Constitution of 1812 vs 1876  

    Session 21 – 20th century: from the Second Republic to National Catholicism 

    Block VII – Visits  

    Session 22 – VISIT- Roman Seville; time/location: TBA

    Session 23 – VISIT- Islamic Seville; time/location: TBA

    Session 24 – VISIT- Christian Seville;time/location: TBA

    Session 25&26 – Student presentations (paper) & debate.  

    Session 27 – Final Exam (date/time TBA) 

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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