- Disputes about Purity in Late Medieval Iberia. Interreligious Contacts and the Polemical Language of the Mudejars
- Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
The state of ritual purity, known as "ṭahāra" in Islam, has often been the subject of religious controversy between members of the various religious communities in the Iberian Peninsula. In this paper, I examine the religious language in Mudejar polemics by looking at the use of specific terms such as"ṭuhr" (‘purity’), "istinjā" (‘ablution after relieving oneself’) and "manjās" (‘unclean’). My analysis shows that, although we find some returning passages from the Torah and the Gospels in these texts, the form in which these are discussed depends both on the period in which each polemic was written and on the particular target audiences. The language and terminology are found in Arabic, Hebrew, and sometimes in Romance written in Arab characters; or even a combination of all three. The approach and language utilized to talk about purity in these Mudejar polemics depends on whether the Mudejars address the Christians or the Jews (they used a harsher tone in the latter case). These differences are probably connected to asymmetrical power relations between the Mudejars and these two groups.
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