By Christopher Lowney
In 711, a ragtag military of Muslim North Africans conquered Christian Spain and introduced Western Europe's first Islamic kingdom. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella vanquished Spain's final Muslim country, compelled Jews to transform or to migrate, and dispatched Christopher Columbus to the recent international. within the years among, Spain's Muslims, Christians, and Jews solid a golden age for every religion and distanced Spain from a Europe mired at midnight Ages.
Medieval Spain's pioneering techniques touched each size of Western existence: Spaniards brought Europeans to paper manufacture and to the Hindu-Arabic numerals that supplanted the Roman numeral process. Spain's farmers followed irrigation know-how from the close to East to nurture Europe's first vegetation of citrus and cotton. Spain's non secular students authored works that also profoundly impression their respective faiths, from the masterpiece of the Jewish kabbalah to the meditations of Sufism's "greatest grasp" to the eloquent arguments of Maimonides that people can effectively marry spiritual religion and reasoned philosophical inquiry. No much less miraculous than medieval Spain's wide-ranging accomplishments used to be the straightforward truth its Muslims, Christians, and Jews usually controlled to stay and paintings facet by means of part, bestowing tolerance and freedom of worship at the non secular minorities of their midst.
A Vanished World chronicles this impossibly panoramic sweep of human heritage and fulfillment, encompassing either the ache of jihad, Crusades, and Inquisition, and the dignity of a multicultural civilization that eternally replaced the West. One gnarled root of brand new non secular animosities stretches again to medieval Spain, yet so does a extra nourishing root of a lot smooth non secular wisdom.
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A Vanished World: Medieval Spain's Golden Age of Enlightenment by Christopher Lowney