Infidels and Neighbours: The Muslims of Medieval Europe

With guest speaker Brian A. Catlos (Professor of Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder & Research Associate in Humanities at the University of California Santa Cruz)

Wednesday, February 1st 2017
5 p.m.
Room 604, UBC Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall

The integration of Muslims in European society and culture is nothing new. Although they have been largely written out of the historical narrative of the Medieval West, substantial Muslim communities were present in Christian Europe from the turn of the millennium through the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Living as separate communities as defined by religion and law, Muslims were nonetheless deeply integrated in the larger societies and economies within which they lived and moved. A diverse population including farmers, soldiers, tradesmen, artists and craftsmen, merchants, men of learning and courtiers, they were subject at times to discrimination and even violence, but also established close bonds with the Christians and Jews who were their neighbours, and made important contributions to the development of European culture.  Professor Catlos will discuss the origin and experience of these communities and the factors which contributed to their survival and ultimately their demise.

This talk is a part of a yearlong Colloquium on Religion, Literature, and the Arts, organized by the Religion, Literature, and the Arts Interdisciplinary Program, with the support of UBC Asian Studies For more information, see:

Image source: Christoph Weiditz Authentic Everyday Dress of the Renaissance: All 154 Plates From the “trachtenbuch” (New York: Dover Publications, 1994).