Andalusia’s Ambivalence: Between Convivencia and Islamophobia

Guest PostsGuest post by Linda J. de Wit about Andalusia, a region that has often been described by means of “paradoxes, contradictions, syntheses or contrasts. Andalusia can at the same time be regarded as a unique case – not unusual for a frontier region – and as challenging contemporary understandings and expectations about concepts like multiculturalism and social cohesion.” 

Lion of Spain
The lion of Spain’s coat of arms as part of Islamic-style wall decoration in the royal palace in Seville. Photo by Linda J. de Wit.

Andalusia’s Ambivalence: Between Convivencia and Islamophobia
by Linda J. de Wit

The southern Spanish province of Andalusia is a much-invaded corner of Europe. Its history and culture have been shaped by peoples as distinctive as Iberians, Phoenicians, Celts, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Castilians. In the context of intercultural communication, the region is sometimes invoked by referring to the seven centuries from which it inherited its name: between 711 and 1492 it was the heartland of Spain under Islamic (Moorish) rule, Al-Andalus. This period is today often associated with the concept of convivencia: the peaceful coexistence and cultural interaction of Muslims, Christians and Jews. In this light, both Andalusia’s past and its present make interesting case studies of multiculturalism.

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KC82: Convivencia by Kenneth Baxter Wolf

Key Concepts in ICDThe next issue of Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue is now available. The goal is to expand the concepts available to discussions of intercultural dialogue. Click on the thumbnail to download the PDF. Lists organized chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC82 ConvivenciaWolf, K. B. (2017). Convivencia. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 82. Available from: https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/kc82-convivencia.pdf

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue. Different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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